The Oscars. It’s the biggest movie-related event of Hollywood’s annual award season. The star-studded ceremony has also seen its fair share of amusing screw-ups happen over the years, some by presenters, some by winners, and some by the hosts themselves. For example, in 2009, presenter Alan Arkin read nominee Philip Seymour Hoffman’s name in the wrong order, while in 2014, John Travolta infamously introduced “Let it Go” singer Idina Menzel as Adele Dazeem.
The end of tonight’s 89th annual Academy Awards ceremony topped them all, though, when presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced La La Land as the night’s Best Picture winner. The Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone-fronted musical was seen by most as the odds-on favorite to win the award, so the result was initially just seen as an unsurprising one. That was until the acceptance speech by La La Land’s producers was suddenly interrupted by the proclamation that Moonlight had actually won Best Picture. For his part, Beatty explained that the mishap took place because he was given the wrong envelope, but the moment was still tremendously awkward.
As is so often the case in our always-on culture, those tuning into the ceremony were quick to respond to the mix-up and to poke fun at what will likely make this year’s Academy Awards memorable above all others, but for all the wrong reasons. No doubt many readers have already been scrolling through their Twitter feeds, but in case you missed a few, we’ve complied a solid round-up of some of the best social media reactions to the mishap:
I wrote the ending of the academy awards 2017. @jimmykimmel we really got them!— M. Night Shyamalan (@MNightShyamalan) February 27, 2017
Warren Beatty just became the new host of FAMILY FEUD. #Oscars— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) February 27, 2017
Officially the most insane moment in the 89-year history of the Academy Awards. Devastating for LLL and Beatty, wonderful for MOONLIGHT.— Scott Feinberg (@ScottFeinberg) February 27, 2017
La La Land is fake news. #Oscars— Comedy Central (@ComedyCentral) February 27, 2017
I'm so glad I don't get high...this was trippy enough sober— Lexi Alexander (@Lexialex) February 27, 2017
It's never too late to win Best Picture. Still holding out for Doctor Strange.— Scott Derrickson (@scottderrickson) February 27, 2017
"Hey, what do we do with the used envelopes?"— Paul F. Tompkins (@PFTompkins) February 27, 2017
"Just put 'em back in the deck."
"Okay. Wait-- am I dumb?"
"We BOTH are!"#Oscars
While questions will remain for awhile how exactly such a monumental mistake was able to take place during such a heavily coordinated and choreographed event, at least it’s generated some quality humor online. To their credit, everyone involved with La La Land has reacted with nothing but class concerning the error, although the film did manage to win 6 of the other Oscars it was nominated for.
For the cast and crew of Moonlight — including Best Supporting Actor winner Mahershala Ali — the whole segment must have been nothing less than a roller coaster of emotions. If nothing else, it certainly sent the Oscars telecast out on a very different sort of high note. Still, nobody can accuse this year’s ceremony of being uneventful.