Hollywood and millions of viewers across the world could not believe their eyes or their ears when the producers of the apparent Best Picture winner, “La La Land,” stopped saying their thank you’s on stage and declared that the actual winner was Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight.” Just minutes after Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced that “La La Land” had won Best Picture, Jordon Horowitz, one of the film’s producers, explained that there had been a mistake, and “Moonlight” was the real winner.
“I want to tell you what happened,” Beatty said a moment later. “I opened the envelope and it said ‘Emma Stone, La La Land.’ That’s why I took such a long look at Fay and at you. This is ‘Moonlight,’ the Best Picture.”
Jimmy Kimmel threw in a quick joke about blaming Steve Harvey, who made a similar flub at the 2015 Miss Universe contest, but nothing could cut through the shock of everyone in the audience at the award ceremony. “This is very unfortunate, what happened,” Kimmel said.
Barry Jenkins then took the stage to give what will certainly be the most surreal acceptance speech of his career.
“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. Oh my goodness,” Jenkins said. “And it is true. It’s not fake. We have been on the road with these guys for so long and that was so gracious and generous of them. My love to ‘La La Land.’ My love to everybody. Man!”
To watch the onstage moment, check out the video below.