'Moonlight' Wins Best Picture Over 'La La Land' After Beatty and Dunaway Announce Wrong Winner

Erin S. Medley
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The 2017 Oscars ceremony joined the ranks of live TV's greatest fails

UPDATE: Oscars accountants take responsibility for Best Picture blunder

In what will go down as one of the most shocking Academy Awards moments in history, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway erroneously awarded La La Land Moonlight's Best Picture Oscar at the 89th Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday.

The entire cast and producing crew of the Damien Chazelle musical were mid-celebration, having already started acceptance speeches and passing around hugs, when one of the "winners" turned to the mic and declared, "We lost, by the way." Wait, what?

Turns out, Beatty read from the Best Actress card—the award won by La La Land's Emma Stone—not the one for Best Picture. Oops.

Still clutching his (former) Oscar, La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz stepped to the mic to inform the rightful winners of the mistake, holding up the Best Picture envelope. "No, there's a mistake," Horowitz said. "Moonlight: You guys won Best Picture. This is not a joke."

Oscars 2017 Fashion: All That Glitters Is Gold, White and Silver

Oscars 2017 Fashion: All That Glitters Is Gold, White and Silver

Priyanka Chopra, Nicole Kidman and Chrissy Teigen all shined on the Oscars red carpet.

Beatty explained the mistake to the stunned crowd, “I opened the envelope and it said Emma Stone, La La land. That’s why I took such a long look at Faye and you; I wasn’t trying to be funny.” Kimmel joked, "Personally I blame Steve Harvey for this." We don't think Steve Harvey will ever need to apologize for his Miss Universe gaffe ever again.

Director Barry Jenkins, who won earlier in the night for Best Adapted Screenplay, accepted the award for Moonlight remarking, "Very clearly, even in my dreams, this could not be true. But to hell with dreams. I'm done with it because this is true."

Stone told the press backstage, "I also was holding my best actress in a leading role card that entire time. I don't mean to start stuff, but whatever story that was, I have that card." Turns out, the accounting firm provides two envelopes for each winner,  Jenkins explained in his press room interview, according to Deadline. "There were two cards...But please write this down, the La La Land crew was so gracious. I can’t imagine being in their position and having to do this.”

The Twitterverse was swift to react to the controversy:

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