×

Oscars Producers, Academy Fail to Apologize to ‘La La Land’ Filmmakers for Best Picture Fiasco

It’s been roughly 17 hours since “La La Land” was mistakenly crowned the best picture winner Sunday night, while the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the producers of the Oscar show have yet to apologize to the filmmakers behind the musical.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm that tabulates Oscar votes and oversees the announcement of winners, has publicly taken the blame for the mistake, chalking it up to “human error.” One of the firm’s employees, Brian Cullinan, handed presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway the envelope with the best actress winner (“La La Land’s” Emma Stone) instead of the one announcing best picture victor “Moonlight.”

“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 firm’s statement after midnight Sunday read. “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.”

The chairman of the accounting giant said he has reached out to the Academy and said that he would also like to personally apologize to the filmmakers involved in both “La La Land” and “Moonlight,” but he has not yet heard back from the organization.

But as of Monday afternoon, no calls have been placed from the Academy leadership, itself, to top executives at Lionsgate, the studio behind “La La Land,” nor has an apology been offered to producers Jordan Horowitz, Marc Platt, or Fred Berger. The three producers were giving victory speeches, thanking friends and family, when it fell to Horowitz to come to the microphone to announce that a mistake had been made and “Moonlight” was the actual winner.

“I’m going to be really proud to hand this to my friends from ‘Moonlight,'” Horowitz said.

The producers declined to comment for this article, but privately, many Academy members are hailing the generosity and poise that the producers showed.

“They’re salt of the earth,” one intimate said, noting that the filmmakers were very close with the team behind “Moonlight.”

A Lionsgate spokesperson said, “We are incredibly proud of our eight Oscar winners (six for ‘La La Land’, two for ‘Hacksaw Ridge’) and the poise and grace shown by our talent last night,” but declined further comment.

Insiders at the Academy said the organization still operates in many respects like the private organization that it is and does not move quickly when a crisis erupts. The organization had made no statements by Monday afternoon to not just those directly impacted by the miscue but to the media.

With many layers of administration, not to mention a board of governors and a committee of the board that oversees the Oscars show, it is difficult for the Motion Picture Academy to decide what public stance to take, said one person close to the organization, who declined to be named. “They are just not a nimble organization when it comes to this sort of thing,” said the source.

James Rainey contributed to this report.

More Film

  • Stuber

    ‘Stuber’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Twentieth Century Fox claims the top spot in spending with “Stuber.” Ads placed for the comedy had an estimated media value of $4.91 million through Sunday for 1,325 national ad airings on 42 networks. [...]

  • BTS - J-Hope, V, Jungkook, Jimin,

    BTS' 'Bring the Soul: The Movie' Gets Global Theatrical Release

    BTS will be back on the big screen this summer. The Korean pop group announced today that their latest feature film, “Bring the Soul: The Movie,” will have a global release on August 7. It arrives just six and a half months after the septet’s last film release, “Love Yourself in Seoul.” “Bring the Soul” [...]

  • Box Office: 'Yesterday' Movie Takes on

    Box Office: 'Annabelle Comes Home' and 'Yesterday' Take on 'Toy Story 4'

    The weekend box office has gone to the dolls. “Annabelle Comes Home,” a supernatural horror film about a possessed toy, is facing off against another band of plastic figurines: “Toy Story 4.” Disney-Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” is expected to dominate box office charts again over newcomers “Annabelle Comes Home” and “Yesterday,” a fantasy musical set [...]

  • 'The Current War' Trailer: Benedict Cumberbatch,

    Benedict Cumberbatch and Nicholas Hoult Feud in 'The Current War' Trailer (Watch)

    101 Studios has released an official new trailer for the Martin Scorcese-produced thriller, “The Current War,”  offering a glimpse into the dramatic 19th century battle over electricity that became known as the “war of the currents.” The film, which is a dramatization of real-life events, will follow the tumultuous journey of Thomas Edison, played by [...]

  • Ford v Ferrari

    Oscars: 31 Upcoming Films That Could Enter the Awards Race

    The year reaches the halfway mark on June 30, and traditionally films from the first six months have an uphill battle in the Oscar race. However, this year’s January-June crop might get a boost from the accelerated schedule: Nominations voting is a tight Jan. 2-Jan. 7, 2020. So if voters start their homework now, early [...]

  • Yesterday Movie Danny Boyle

    Danny Boyle on 'Yesterday,' Leaving 'Bond 25' and Why the Beatles Still Rock

    Danny Boyle would like to reintroduce you to the Beatles. The iconic foursome certainly needs no introduction, but in his movie “Yesterday,” which debuts June 28, the director envisions a word where nobody has heard of John, Paul, George and Ringo. That is, nobody besides Jack Malik. When the struggling songwriter, portrayed by newcomer Himesh [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content