Photo via IMDb
For the first time in 89 years, the Oscars announced the wrong movie as the winner of “Best Picture.” Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty announced “La La Land” instead of “Moonlight” because of a mix up with the cards that had the winners on them.
Beatty opened the envelope and was confused and hesitant to announce the winner because it wasn’t the best picture winner. It was the card for “best actress”, which had just been announced. However, everyone assumed his hesitancy was just to build suspense so Dunaway encouraged him to just say the winner. Beatty then showed Dunaway the card and Beatty read the winner, “La La Land.”
The whole cast and crew for the movie then came up on stage. It wasn’t until after Jordan Horowitz, producer, and Marc Platt, producer, gave their acceptance speeches that the mistake was realized. Fred Berger was next to the microphone and made the announcement that they lost. Horowitz then clarified the mistake that had been made and announced that “Moonlight” is the actual winner.
This horrible mistake happened because for each category two cards are made that have the winner on them. They are then distributed so there is one card on each side of the stage and one of the accountants that calculated the results hands it to the announcer as they walk on stage. A mistake in this system is what caused the wrong card to be handed to Beatty and Dunaway.
While this is a big mistake, it was a mistake, which humans are prone to make.
“It was an honest mistake that was out of their control,” Jessica Stults, sophomore, said, “They got handed the wrong envelope. They are all people and people make mistakes.”
However, others thought of this mistake differently.
“I thought it was very unfortunate and should not have happened,” said Jacob Groh, sophomore, “I would expect that such a high level event, such as the Oscars, to take special care to ensure that something like that wouldn’t happen.”
Although this mistake is very unfortunate most people seem happy that Moonlight ended up winning best picture.
“I’m really glad Moonlight won,” said Elizabeth Schweitzer, senior, “Despite the fact that The Academy is a primarily white, male, elderly group, and awards like this are completely subject to bias, they still hold weight, and for some are seen as an indicator of what a culture values. Having a movie about black LGBTQUA people win, is a small, but not insignificant statement.”