The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has spoken out for the first time regarding the epic Best Picture mix-up that took place during the 2017 Oscars in Hollywood on Sunday, February 26.
“We deeply regret the mistakes that were made during the presentation of the Best Picture category during last night’s Oscar ceremony. We apologize to the entire cast and crew of La La Land and Moonlight whose experience was profoundly altered by this error. We salute the tremendous grace they displayed under the circumstances. To all involved — including our presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, the filmmakers, and our fans watching worldwide — we apologize,” the statement, posted to the Oscars website late Monday, February 27, reads.
“For the last 83 years, the Academy has entrusted PwC to handle the critical tabulation process, including the accurate delivery of results. PwC has taken full responsibility for the breaches of established protocols that took place during the ceremony,” the statement continues. “We have spent last night and today investigating the circumstances, and will determine what actions are appropriate going forward. We are unwaveringly committed to upholding the integrity of the Oscars and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.”
As the world knows by now, Beatty and Dunaway were given the wrong envelope before they announced the last category of the night. Instead of the Best Picture card, they were given a duplicate of the Best Actress card, which led to them erroneously naming La La Land as the winner over Moonlight. The issue wasn’t resolved until after the cast and crew of the movie musical took the stage and some producers gave their acceptance speeches. An Oscars producer rushed out from backstage and delivered the bad news.
“Moonlight, you guys won Best Picture,” La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz said at the microphone. “This is not a joke.”
Horowitz later opened up about the blunder during an interview with Good Morning America. “There was a lot of confusion onstage, and at a certain point it was clear that the wrong envelope had been given. Then they kind of showed us the Best Picture envelope, and it said Moonlight, and that’s when I sort of jumped to the mic and made sure everybody knew what was going on,” he said on Monday. “It was like this slow, steady realization that something wasn’t right.”
The star-studded audience was just as shocked as the millions of viewers watching from home. Celebrities including Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Michelle Williams, Busy Philipps and Meryl Streep were photographed looking horrified and with their mouths agape.