PricewaterhouseCoopers, the official accountant of the Academy Awards, issued a statement on the embarrassing flub on Sunday night’s Oscars, in which Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway read “La La Land” as best picture instead of the actual winner, “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 statement 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.”
“We appreciate the grace with which the nominees, the Academy, ABC, and Jimmy Kimmel handled the situation,” the statement added.
The mix-up resulted in one of the most chaotic conclusions of an awards show in recent memory. Beatty and Dunaway were apparently given the envelope for Emma Stone’s best actress win that was announced just moments earlier. By the time the mistake had been fully realized, the “La La Land” crew had already begun their speech. “La La Land” producer Jordan Horowitz told a shocked Dolby Theater, “There’s a mistake. ‘Moonlight,’ you guys won best picture.”
Explaining the flub, Beatty said, “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.”
Popular on Variety
Social media seemed to confirm Beatty’s story. Oscar attendees, including 2015 host Neil Patrick Harris, tweeted photos of the envelope, which did indeed seem to be for best actress.
Warren Beatty seems to be opening an envelope that says 'Actress in a Leading Role'. He must have been handed the wrong one somehow. Yikes. pic.twitter.com/Rma4wp80aX
— Neil Patrick Harris (@ActuallyNPH) February 27, 2017
Nominees involved seemed just as confused as viewers. Backstage, Stone told reporters, “I was holding my best actress card.” “Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins said backstage that he was given “no explanation,” but that Beatty did show him the famed card after the ceremony.
The Academy has not issued a statement of its own, but sent out the PWC statement to media outlets.