People were anticipating the 2017 Academy Awards to be an interesting affair and they didn’t disappoint, but nobody could have possibly foreseen the sheer absurdity that would be what is supposed to be the crowning moment of the night, the Best Picture category.
The 2017 Best Picture award will forever be infamous as one of the most ridiculous and confusing moments in award show history. La La Land, the musical romantic comedy directed by Damian Chazelle, was nominated for 14 Academy Awards, tied for the most in Oscars history, and was announced as the winner of Best Picture at this year’s Oscars by a clearly confused Warren Beatty.
Only it hadn’t won. After accepting the award and giving their speech, the producers of La La Land took back the mic to announce that the real winner of the award was Moonlight. “This is not a joke. ‘Moonlight’ has won Best Picture,” they admitted, leaving the entire room completely gobsmacked. Absolutely nobody in attendance knew what was going on.
It is still unclear how it happened, but Beatty tried to clarify. “I want to tell you what happened,” Beatty said onstage. “I opened the envelope, and it said Emma Stone, ‘La La Land’ and that’s why I took a long look, I wasn’t trying to be funny.” Had there been a wrong card printed or possibly a duplicate? It’s hard to tell, but Emma Stone had already accepted her award for Best Actress in La La Land earlier in the night.
First-time Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel attempted to make light of what was rapidly turning into an unprecedented mixup by trying to take some of the heat off Beatty and placing it upon himself. “I knew I’d screw this up… I promise I’ll never come back,” he said as the show was coming to an end.
Viewers had tuned into the 2017 Academy Awards for the usual reasons, but they were also watching for the controversy; is white-washing really such a big deal in Hollywood? What will celebrities have to say about President Trump? Anyone watching this year’s Oscars got that and a whole lot more in an Academy Awards show that will go down in infamy for all the wrong reasons. Watch the madness go down here: