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Winning Isn't Everything: The 2017 Oscar Debacle


Moonlight (left) and La La Land (right). - A24 PRODUCTIONS AND SUMMIT ENTERTAINMENT
  • A24 Productions and Summit Entertainment
  • Moonlight (left) and La La Land (right).
Last November's contentious election results paled in comparison to the debacle Sunday night at the Academy Awards. As USA Today put it this morning, "Oscar got it wrong, soooo wrong."

Already dubbed #Envelopegate, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm in charge of tallying the votes and distributing the results to awards presenters in sealed envelopes, admitted to giving Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway "the wrong category envelope" when it came time to honor the best picture of the year.

"I want to tell you what happened," Beatty told a stunned audience at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood and close to 1 billion television viewers. "I opened the envelope and it said, 'Emma Stone, La La Land.' That's why I took such a long look at Faye and [the audience]. I wasn't trying to be funny."

By then, the damage had been done. Dunaway, said the Best Picture Oscar went to La La Land, sending the cast and crew of the L.A. period-piece musical running to the stage and grabbing an armload of trophies. It wasn't until after most of the acceptance speeches had been completed that someone realized the mistake, forcing Team La La Land to slink away as Team Moonlight ran to the stage to take the Best Picture Oscar.

"We appreciate the grace with which the nominees, the Academy, ABC and [host] Jimmy Kimmel handled the situation," read an official statement from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

It wasn't the only major mishap of the ceremony. Australian film producer Jan Chapman was surprised to see her image flashed before a worldwide audience during an "In Memoriam" segment, honoring film industry legends who had died in the past year. Chapman's picture was attached to the name "Janet Patterson," a costume designer who had indeed died last year.

Here's the complete list of Oscar winners (or at least the presumed winners):

Best Picture: Moonlight

Actor: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Actress: Emma Stone, La La Land

Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Supporting Actress: Viola Davis, Fences

Animated Feature: Zootopia

Cinematography: La La Land

Costume Design: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Direction: Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Documentary Feature: O.J.: Made in America

Documentary Short: The White Helmets

Film Editing: Hacksaw Ridge

Foreign Language Film: The Salesman

Makeup and Hairstyling: Suicide Squad

Score: La La Land

Song: “City of Stars” from La La Land—music by Justin Hurwitz, lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

Production Design: La La Land

Animated Short: Piper

Live Action Short: Sing

Sound Editing: Arrival

Sound Mixing: Hacksaw Ridge

Visual Effects: The Jungle Book

Adapted Screenplay: Moonlight

Original Screenplay: Manchester by the Sea

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