There was a major upset at the Oscars on Sunday night — in more ways than one. The favorite to win the night’s big prize, La La Land, held the title of Best Picture for about 45 seconds. Presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced that the musical had won, and then, in a shocking turn of events, the producers accepting the award suddenly stopped their acceptance speech and revealed that Moonlight had actually won.
“We lost, by the way,” one of the producers said into the microphone before trailing off, amid growing confusion on the stage and in the audience.
“This is not a joke — Moonlight has won Best Picture,” another producer said.
The moment was so extremely bizarre — and unprecedented — that one of La La Land’s producers actually held the envelope up to the camera, clearly showing Moonlight as the winner. Beatty explained that he was handed the wrong card, which read “Emma Stone — La La Land,” and that he wasn’t trying to be funny when he hesitated and then gave it to Dunaway to read.
“I want to tell you what happened. I opened the envelope, and it said Emma Stone, La La Land. That’s why I took such a long look at Faye and at you; I wasn’t trying to be funny,” he said.
Jimmy Kimmel, the host of the show, eventually came onstage and confirmed Moonlight’s win and the surprising turn of events. Moonlight’s director, Barry Jenkins, and the film’s producers then gave an acceptance speech. “Very clearly, very clearly, even in my dreams, this could not be true,” Jenkins said. “But to hell with dreams, I’m done with it, because this is true.”