The last five minutes of the 89th Academy Awards delivered one of the most shocking moments in Oscar history. For viewers who called it quits before the final trophy was handed out, here’s what happened: Two minutes into the acceptance speeches for La La Land’s Best Picture win, it was revealed that Damien Chazelle's musical wasn’t the rightful winner after all. Barry Jenkins's Moonlight was the true Best Picture winner, and the casts and crews of the two films awkwardly switched places on stage in a moment that was stranger than cinematic fiction.
You can watch the scene play out below:
Warren Beatty, who opened the envelope and then handed the card to his fellow presenter, Faye Dunaway, to read, has received a lot of flak for the incident online. But according to Mashable, the London-based accounting and professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is really to blame for the mix-up.
For years, the PwC accountants have managed the Academy Awards ceremony. Last night, officials made the egregious error of handing the envelope containing the Best Actress winner to Beatty instead of the one for Best Picture. The company released a statement, which 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."
You can witness Beatty’s confusion upon opening the envelope in the video above. After reading Emma Stone’s name listed when he was supposed to be announcing Best Picture, the stumped actor passed the buck to his partner—and Bonnie and Clyde co-star—Dunaway, who saw the words La La Land and read them immediately. So don’t blame the presenters; they were also victims of last night’s epically embarrassing oversight.