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Here’s What Really Happened with That ‘La La Land’ & ‘Moonlight’ Mix-Up at the Oscars

There were plenty of noteworthy moments during the 2017 Oscars. But the day after, we’re all only talking about that one major moment: when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway mistakenly announced La La Land as the Best Picture winner though Moonlight was the actual winner.

It was embarrassing and shocking, but most of all, it was confusing AF. Chatter about what exactly caused the snafu has been rampant, and now we’re finally getting some answers. 

Emma Stone told the press room that she still had her winning card for Best Actress in her hand as the Best Picture scene unfolded. While this cast doubt on Beatty’s claim that he received the card for Best Actress rather than Best Picture, it was later confirmed that two sets of envelopes for each category were printed, for security reasons. So Beatty and Dunaway were indeed given the wrong envelope.

According to Vanity Fair’s live reports from backstage at the Dolby Theatre, Beatty made it his mission to ensure no one touched the card before Moonlight director Barry Jenkins could see it for himself. Dunaway was reportedly less worried about the mix-up, munching on cashews backstage immediately after the melodrama played out.

Early this morning, accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, who handles the Oscars envelopes, took full responsibility, issuing this statement. “We sincerely apologize to MoonlightLa 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. We appreciate the grace with which the nominees, the Academy, ABC, and Jimmy Kimmel handled the situation.”

The parties involved in both films were extremely gracious following the flub. La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz made sure the error was corrected as soon as he realized what was happening, something Jenkins later praised him for.

We may never know the full story behind this epic fail, but it’s definitely a moment that will go down in Oscars history.

Erin was previously the Entertainment Editor of Her Campus. She graduated from Belmont University in 2015, where she studied English and Elementary Education. Before joining the team full-time, she was a national contributing blogger, viral content writer and editorial intern at HC. In addition to her work for Her Campus, Erin was formerly an editorial assistant at Nfocus Magazine and has been published by HelloGiggles and Man Repeller. In her free time, you can find Erin falling for yet another TV boyfriend (her long list of ex-lovers includes Nathan Scott, Chuck Bass and Pacey Witter, to name a few), reading chick lit and/or celeb memoirs and hanging with her puppy/soulmate, Cooper.
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