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‘Moonlight’ dramatically wins Best Picture after major flub at Oscars

In an epic turns of events elected cringes and cheers, Faye Dunaway mistakenly named La La Land best picture at the 89th Academy Awards on Sunday night, but, as it turned out, Moonlight actually won the top prize.

The producers of La La Land were onstage delivering their acceptance speeches when it was revealed that Moonlight had in fact won. Some wondered if the commotion was a joke. But, as was confirmed by the Academy Awards’ producers from the stage, it was not. And, just like that, the La La Land people left the stage as the producers and stars of Moonlight gathered in surprise..

Warren Beatty and Dunaway, the stars of the 1967 classic Bonnie and Clyde, were the presenters of the best picture award. When it came time to announce the winner, Beatty paused and seemed confused before showing the card to Ms. Dunaway, who then announced La La Land as the winner.

“I want to tell you what happened,” Beatty said as the room still scrambled in shock after Moonlight was announced as the winner. “I opened the envelope, and it said ‘Emma Stone, La La Land.’ That’s why I took such a long look at Faye and at you. I wasn’t trying to be funny. This is Moonlight, the best picture.”

Moonlight ultimately won three awards in total, including best adapted screenplay and best supporting actor.

“Very clearly, even in my dreams this could not be true,” said Barry Jenkins, the director of Moonlight. “But to hell with dreams, I’m done with it, because this is true. Oh my goodness.”

Held up as an escapist, believe-in-yourself antidote for the times, the neo-musical La La Land, an escapist musical that was favored to sweep the awards entering the ceremony, won six Oscars out of its 14 nominations, including statuettes for Damien Chazelle’s directing and Stone’s acting.

“It threw me more than a bit,” Mahershala Ali, who won best supporting actor for Moonlight, said backstage. “I just didn’t want to go up there and take anything from somebody, you know?”

PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm that handles the Oscars balloting, took responsibility for the mixup. “We sincerely apologize to Moonlight, La La Land, Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway and Oscar viewers for the error,” the firm said in a statement. “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.”

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