Sitting in my room watching the Oscars along with many college students, I noticed something different happening at this year’s Oscars. The Oscars aired on Sunday, Feb. 26, and “La La Land” was announced as the winner of Best Picture, just to realize there had been a mistake and that “Moonlight” had actually won.
Actors Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway took the stage to present the award. Staring at the opened envelope, Beatty handed it to Dunaway as she announced “La La Land.” The entire “La La Land” team proudly took the stage, and producer Jordan Horowitz gave his speech. A few others began saying their thanks when the crew started giving each other confused looks.
Horowitz grabbed the mic and the envelope out of Beatty’s hand, saying that there had been a mistake and “Moonlight” actually won Best Picture. He assured not only the “Moonlight” team but also the audience that this was “no joke.” The “Moonlight” team made there way to the stage, and Horowitz graciously handed over the Oscar. Beatty took the mic and explained that he had been given the wrong envelope, and that the envelope he opened read “Emma Stone, ‘La La Land,’” which is why he gave Faye Dunaway a look and handed her the envelope before announcing the winner.
The whole situation was hard to watch, especially because the crew of “La La Land” began to give their speeches. We not only felt sorry for this crew, but also for the “Moonlight” crew because their moment seemed to be taken from them.
In light of an awkward mistake, both parties reacted in the best way possible. Horowitz and Emma Stone spoke at an after-party on E! News, explaining that, even though they were confused, they both expressed their excitement for the cast and crew of “Moonlight.” At the same after-party, E! was able to speak to the cast of “Moonlight,” who explained that they weren’t hurt by the mistake—though it was unfortunate, it made them even more excited to have won the award for best picture.
The night elicited a range of emotions from the cast, crew and audiences—spanning from excited to sad, confused to bewildered. We also felt sorry for Beatty, since he allegedly was handed the wrong envelope before presenting.
It shows how one small mistake at this large and important event can change the mood of the whole night. There were so many amazing wins in other categories, and we would hate to see the slip up for Best Picture erase these amazing memories. Unfortunately, Best Picture is the last award to be announced and, usually, the most important.
Although “La La Land” wrongly was announced for the final award, the “La La Land” team still are stepping away from the night by winning six out of 14 Oscars, including a win from Stone for Best Actress. This is amazing, and even though “Moonlight” ended up on top for Best Picture, there is plenty for the “La La Land” crew to be proud of at the end of the night.
With a mistake that could have been disastrous, the cast and crew of both films made the situation as smooth as they could, and reminded us of the beauty of the arts and the amazing talent that was shown. That is what the Oscars is all about.
Breanna Connell is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at BC810217@wcupa.edu.