The 2017 Academy Awards ended in a disastrous scandal, as actor Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway revealed that “La La Land” won for Best Picture.
However, once the stars of that film were on stage for their acceptance speeches, the award was taken away and announced that “Moonlight” was actually the Best Picture winner.
Beatty explained that he had opened the envelope and read a card which said “Emma Stone and La La Land.” He said he was confused, but it was actually Dunaway who erroneously announced “La La Land” as the winner.
“I wasn’t trying to be funny,” Beatty noted on camera.
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“Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins then rushed to the stage to accept the real award for Best Picture.
“Very clearly, even in my dreams this could not be true,” Jenkins said. “But to hell with dreams, I’m done with it, cause this is true. Oh my goodness.”
Host Jimmy Kimmel tried to take some responsibility away from Beatty, suggesting it was his fault the program ended the way it did. He said he would never host the Oscars again as the program went off the air.
“Well, I don’t know what happened. I blame myself for this. Let’s remember, it’s just an awards show. I mean, we hate to see people disappointed but the good news is, we got to see some extra speeches. We had some great movies. I knew I would screw this show up, I really did,” Kimmel joked.
PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the global accounting firm that oversaw the academy voting and handled the award envelopes, issued an apology Monday morning “for the error that was made during the award announcement for best picture.”
“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,” said PwC, which has overseen the Academy’s ballot-counting for 83 years.
“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 statement said.
“Why don’t they give them all Oscars – ‘Moonlight’ and ‘La La Land’ – and soothe any hurt feelings,” clowned radio host Rush Limbaugh during his national broadcast Monday, as he joked the event was stolen.
Earlier in the evening, Kimmel wasted no time joking about Donald Trump, mentioning the president’s bowel movements during the show’s opening monologue Sunday night.
During the program’s initial moments, Kimmel referred to the nominees in the Best Supporting Actor category, noting how the winner would “give a speech that the president of the United States will tweet about in all caps during his 5 a.m. bowel movement tomorrow.”
Kimmel voiced one Trump joke after another as he welcomed viewers.
“This is being watched live by millions of people in 225 countries that now hate us,” Kimmel said.
“I want to say thank you to President Trump. Remember last year when it seemed like the Oscars were racist? It’s gone thanks to him.”
He added: “In Hollywood, we don’t discriminate against people based on what country they come from. We discriminate by age and weight.”
When the camera focused on Meryl Streep, the actress who has been feuding with Trump recently, Kimmel referred to her as “the highly overrated Meryl Streep.”
“Nice dress, by the way, is that an Ivanka?” Kimmel asked Streep, referring to the fashion line of the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump.
To the surprise of some, Kimmel also sounded a call for national unity, with the host even employing the president’s campaign slogan, saying:
“There are millions and millions of people watching right now, and if every one of you took a minute to reach out to someone you disagree with, someone you like and have a positive, considerate conversation, not as liberals or conservatives – as Americans – if we would all do that we could make America great again, we really could. It starts with us.”
Kimmel also worked into his remarks Trump’s disdain for “fake news” agencies such as CNN, the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, saying if there was anyone present from those agencies, “I’d like to ask you to leave the building … we have no tolerance for fake news.”
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