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'Moonlight' mistake part of 89th Oscars
2017-02-27

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A gasp-inducing snafu and an anger-provoking omission were among the developments that marked an Academy Award event that went smoothly—until the very last moments.

In what might be one of the most bizarre endings to any awards show, LGBT film Moonlight won the Best Picture Oscar. But it took a while, as presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway actually pronounced La La Land ( which took a total of six awards ) as the winner.

La La Land's producers even gave three acceptance speeches before the mistake was announced. Moonlight ended up winning three awards, including Best Supporting Actor ( for Mahershala Ali, who became the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar ) and Adapted Screenplay ( for Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney ).

The previously mentioned omission—which received considerably less coverage—came from previous Oscar winner Patricia Arquette, who was upset that sibling Alexis Arquette was among those not showcased in the show's "In Memoriam" segment. Patricia tweeted, "@TheAcademy #OscarsSoAntiTrans Only 70 Credits to your name! 4th generation actor @AlexisArquette I love you ! #Snub."

Going back to the Moonlight mistake, Windy City Times received a statement from accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers that read, " We sincerely apologize to Moonlight, La La Land, Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway and Oscar® viewers for the error that was made during the award announcement for Best Picture. The presenters had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope and when discovered, was immediately corrected. We are currently investigating how this could have happened, and deeply regret that this occurred."

Speaking of Moonlight, McCraney ( during the Adapted Screenplay win ) said, "This goes out to all those Black and brown boys and girls and non-gender-conforming [individuals] who don't see themselves. We're trying to show you you and us. So thank you, thank you—this is for you."

In other show-related developments, Viola Davis became the first African-American actress to achieve such an Oscar, Tony and Emmy for strictly acting. ( Whoopi Goldberg has an EGOT—Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony—but the last award is for producing. ) Also, La La Land's Damian Chazelle became the youngest person to win Best Director. In addition, Lin-Manuel Miranda ( Hamilton ) fell short of becoming the youngest EGOT winner when La La Land's "City of Stars" topped his song "How Far I'll Go" ( from Moana ) for Best Original Song.

Jimmy Kimmel hosted the event, mixing politics, food that dropped from the ceiling, tourists and his faux feud with actor Matt Damon.

—Andrew Davis


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