‘Moonlight’ Wins Best Picture Oscar After Warren Beatty’s Colossal ‘La La Land’ Mix-up

And the Oscar goes to … ! Moonlight took home the win for Best Picture at the 2017 Oscars on Sunday, February 26 inside L.A.’s Dolby Theatre — but the winning moment will go down in WTF Oscar history forever thanks to presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, who mistakenly announced La La Land as the winner in a colossal mix-up we’ll be processing forever. Watch the shocking moment in the video above.

The entire cast of the musical rom-com took the stage and several members of the cast and crew gave their acceptance speeches before they realized there had been an error. “I’m sorry, no, there’s a mistake. Moonlight, you guys won Best Picture,” La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz said. “This is not a joke. Moonlight has won Best Picture.” Horowitz held up the correct card for all to see and graciously handed the award over to Moonlight.

While the La La Land cast exited the stage, host Jimmy Kimmel jumped in with a joke about the first-ever mix-up in the Oscars’ 89-year history. “This is very unfortunate, what happened. Personally, I blame Steve Harvey for this,” he quipped of Harvey’s similar Miss Universe 2015 flub, when he announced the wrong winner. “I would like to see you get an Oscar anyway. Why can’t we just give out a whole bunch of them?”

Beatty later returned to the mic to explain that he had been given the card for Best Actress, which listed La La Land’s Emma Stone as the winner. “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 you. I wasn’t trying to be funny,” he said.

The Moonlight cast seemed to be in utter disbelief as they made their way to stage. “There was a time when I thought this movie was impossible because I couldn’t bring it to fruition,” director Barry Jenkins said. “I couldn’t bring myself to tell another story. Everybody behind me on this stage said, “No, that is not acceptable.” I want to thank everybody up here behind me. Everybody out there in this room. We didn’t do this. You guys chose us. Thank you for the choice. I appreciate it. Much love.”

As the show finally wrapped, Kimmel joked, “I knew I would screw this up — I really did!”

The coming-of-age film (Brad Pitt serves as an executive producer) tells the story of an African American boy named Chiron who grows up in a tough Miami neighborhood. His tale is told in three parts: his life as a bullied elementary schooler with a crack-addicted mother, as a closeted gay teen and as an adult. 

A celebrated indie with just a $1.5 million budget, the drama — which also won best drama motion picture at the Golden Globes and earned Mahershala Ali a best supporting actor trophy — bested eight other worthy nominees at the 89th annual Academy Awards.

In Arrival, Amy Adams stars as a linguistics professor tasked with interpreting the language of apparent alien visitors who arrive in mysterious spacecrafts.

Viola Davis and Denzel Washington both received acting nods for their performance in Fences — adapted from August Wilson’s 1983 play about a working-class father trying to raise his family in the 1950s. The actors signed on for the film (directed by Washington himself!) after earning Tony awards in the play’s 2010 revival.

Hacksaw Ridge — a Mel Gibson–directed World War II epic about the bloody Battle of Okinawa — also netted star Andrew Garfield a Best Actor nomination.

Two brothers — one a scheming ex-con (Ben Foster), the other a divorced dad (Chris Pine) — conspire to save the family’s West Texas ranch by pulling a series of bank heists in the crime drama Hell or High Water.

Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae and Octavia Spencer star as three female African American NASA mathematicians who play a vital role in forwarding the U.S. space program amid racial tensions in the 1960s in the based-on-true-events drama Hidden Figures. The actress’ portrayals of Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughan (dubbed “American heroes” by Henson) led the film’s ensemble to the Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture trophy at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Modern musical La La Land, a song- and dance-filled tribute to Hollywood, earned a record-tying 14 Oscar nominations, including acting nods for leads Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.

Another based-on-a-true-story drama, Lion, follows the journey of Saroo, a young boy from Khandwa, India, who gets lost, landing in Calcutta, where he’s adopted by an Australian couple. Years later, an adult Saroo (played by Best Supporting Actor nominee Dev Patel) goes in search of his family.

Casey Affleck plays the unwilling guardian to his recently deceased brother’s son in Manchester by the Sea — a film that netted him a Best Actor nomination.

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