Epic Oscars Mistake: Faye Dunaway, Warren Beatty Announce Wrong Best Picture Winner

“Moonlight” walked away with best picture honors at the end of Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony in Hollywood.

The presenters for the final award — Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway — were incorrectly given the best actress award envelope. A confused Beatty saw Emma Stone’s name and “La La Land,” and handed the envelope to Dunaway, who then announced the musical as the Best Picture winner.

The “La La Land” cast took the stage and producers began their speeches. But they stopped midway when they realized their error.

“There’s a mistake. ‘Moonlight’ you guys won best picture,” Jordan Horowitz said to the shocked Dolby Theater audience. “This is not a joke, come up here” the producer added. “Moonlight has won best picture.”

Beatty then returned to the microphone to explain: “I want to tell you what happened. 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.”

“Moonlight” beat out “La La Land,” “Hidden Figures,” “Manchester by the Sea,” “Arrival,” “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Hell or High Water,” “Lion,” and “Fences.”

RELATED CONTENT: Every Oscar Best Picture Winner [GALLERY]

It was nothing less than a shock for Barry Jenkins’ intimate study of a black youth coming to terms with his homosexuality to walk away with the win: Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” had been widely tipped as the frontrunner on the strength of a dominant precursor showing and top prizes from the Golden Globes, the Producers Guild, and the Directors Guild. Notably, though, “Moonlight” scored more best film prizes from critics groups around the country, making it a formidable dark horse every step of the way.

Watch the moment unfold below:

More Film

  • Locarno: Intramovies Takes Sales on Inquisition

    Locarno: Intramovies Takes World Sales on Inquisition Drama 'Menocchio' (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Moonlight” walked away with best picture honors at the end of Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony in Hollywood. The presenters for the final award — Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway — were incorrectly given the best actress award envelope. A confused Beatty saw Emma Stone’s name and “La La Land,” and handed the envelope to Dunaway, who […]

  • Cats review

    Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, James Corden, Ian McKellen Cast in Movie Version of 'Cats'

    “Moonlight” walked away with best picture honors at the end of Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony in Hollywood. The presenters for the final award — Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway — were incorrectly given the best actress award envelope. A confused Beatty saw Emma Stone’s name and “La La Land,” and handed the envelope to Dunaway, who […]

  • In this undated photo released by

    Six Thai Cave Rescue Films Now in Development

    “Moonlight” walked away with best picture honors at the end of Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony in Hollywood. The presenters for the final award — Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway — were incorrectly given the best actress award envelope. A confused Beatty saw Emma Stone’s name and “La La Land,” and handed the envelope to Dunaway, who […]

  • 'Far From the Tree' Review

    Film Review: 'Far From the Tree'

    “Moonlight” walked away with best picture honors at the end of Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony in Hollywood. The presenters for the final award — Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway — were incorrectly given the best actress award envelope. A confused Beatty saw Emma Stone’s name and “La La Land,” and handed the envelope to Dunaway, who […]

  • Jing Tian The Great Wall

    Hollywood May Win Quota Concession in China (Report)

    “Moonlight” walked away with best picture honors at the end of Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony in Hollywood. The presenters for the final award — Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway — were incorrectly given the best actress award envelope. A confused Beatty saw Emma Stone’s name and “La La Land,” and handed the envelope to Dunaway, who […]

  • Damascus Cover review

    Film Review: 'Damascus Cover'

    “Moonlight” walked away with best picture honors at the end of Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony in Hollywood. The presenters for the final award — Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway — were incorrectly given the best actress award envelope. A confused Beatty saw Emma Stone’s name and “La La Land,” and handed the envelope to Dunaway, who […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content