It is celebrations galore for the cast and crew of Moonlight, considering that the Barry Jenkins-directed movie won in the ‘Best Picture’ category at the 89th Academy Awards on Sunday night, February 26, 2017.
However, the announcement of Moonlight‘s win came after a mix-up, which saw presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway initially announce Damien Chazelle’s musical La La Land as the winner.
British Vogue reported that La La Land producer Fred Berger was in the process of delivering an acceptance speech on behalf of the La La Land team when producer Jordan Horowitz declared:
“No, there’s a mistake, Moonlight, you won Best Picture – this is not a joke.”
After the Moonlight team took to the stage to claim the prize, Beatty immediately explained to a confused audience that he was handed the wrong envelope.
Meanwhile, US Weekly reported that PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm in charge of the Oscars balloting and the delivery of winning envelopes, issued an official apology on Monday morning for the mix-up:
“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.”
Other winners are Casey Affleck in the ‘Best Actor’ category for his role in Manchester by the Sea, Emma Stone in the ‘Best Actress’ category for La La Land.
Mahershala Ali and Viola Davis won in the ‘Best Supporting Actor’ and ‘Best Supporting Actress’ categories for their performances in Moonlight and Fences respectively.
It is pertinent to note that, Viola Davis, who came close to winning in the ‘Best Actress’ category in 2011 for The Help, reportedly had her lead performance in Fences submitted last fall in the ‘Best Supporting Actress’ category toward the 89th Academy Awards, according to Vanity Fair.
Nonetheless, her Oscar win makes her the first black woman to win Oscar, Emmy and Tony awards for acting.
Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney | via Instagram
La La Land director Damien Chazelle also picked up an Oscar in the ‘Best Director’ category, while Barry Jenkins picked up the ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’ award for Moonlight, which he penned with original playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney. Moonlight is Jenkins’ sophomore directorial effort after Medicine for Melancholy (2008) .
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