Guess what, Anne Hathaway and James Franco? Your stint hosting the Oscars in 2011 is no longer the most embarrassing moment in Academy Awards history. That honor now goes to everyone involved with Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway mistakenly announcing La La Land as the winner of the Best Picture award, rather than the actual winner, Moonlight.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Bonnie and Clyde, Beatty and Dunaway presented the Oscar for Best Picture. Beatty opened the envelope, looked at the card, then started rummaging around for another piece of paper. The audience laughed, thinking he was joking around, and Dunaway even urged him to get on with it and name the winner. He handed Dunaway the envelope, and she declared that La La Land won.
The La La Land team came up onstage and the producers had enough time to thank several people before the error was realized — Beatty and Dunaway had announced the wrong movie, and Moonlight was the real winner. After having to be told several times "this is not a joke," the audience whooped and cheered, host Jimmy Kimmel tried to smooth things over, and Beatty explained that the card he was given had said "Emma Stone" and "La La Land" and he "wasn't trying to be funny."
Stone told reporters she was holding her Best Actress envelope "the whole entire time." Eagle-eyed former teenage doctors shared images on social media showing Beatty holding an envelope that said "Actress in a Leading Role," and because there are two sets of cards for every category, it is entirely possible that Stone had one card and Dunaway and Beatty the other. Still, there are now more questions than answers — were Bonnie and Clyde set up to make it look like they wanted to rob Moonlight of its win? Are we sure Denzel Washington really lost to Casey Affleck? How does Russia fit into all this? Can I be in charge of the show next year?
UPDATE: In a statement released early Monday, accounting firm PwC took responsibility for the embarrassing mix-up, explaining that "the presenters had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope," and "we are currently investigating how this could have happened." PwC, which has tallied votes for the Academy for 83 years, apologized to "Moonlight, La La Land, Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and Oscar viewers." Catherine Garcia