The plot thickened and internet conspiracy theories flew overnight as to how the wrong envelope ended up in the hands of Warren Beauty when he and Faye Dunaway wrongly announced that “La La Land” had won best picture at the Academy Awards Sunday night.
But people generally agree that the “La La Land” people acted with amazing grace when they learned, while still rotating through their acceptance speeches, that their film had, in fact, not won best picture.
In probably one of the most stunning Oscar mistakes in the 89-year history of the awards, the correct envelope materialized on stage, announcing that the honor should instead go to “Moonlight.”
And it was “La La Land” executive producer Jordan Horowitz who broke through all the hub-hub growing on stage over the mistake and disclosed it before before the global audience.
Horowitz took hold of the mic from one of his co-producers and said: “Guys, guys, no, I’m sorry there’s a mistake.
“Moonlight, you guys won Best Picture,'”
As host Jimmy Kimmel tried to placate the situation, Horowitz made a point of saying: “I’m going to be really proud to hand this to my friends from Moonlight.”
The cast and crew of Moonlight then took to the stage and Horowitz gave them the Oscar and embraced the rightful winners.
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“Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins appreciated Horowitz’s move, even as he tried to grasp that his film had won. “Very clearly, even in my dreams this could not be true, but to hell with dreams!” he said.
Then he alluded to how his people and those from “La La Land” felt a kinship after coming through the rigorous awards show season together: “We’ve been on the [awards show circuit] with these guys for so long and that was so gracious, so generous of them. My love to ‘La La Land,’ my love to everybody.”
Many on Twitter agreed that Horowitz deserved praise for handling the “trainwreck” of a situation with “class” and “dignity” and for showing good sportsmanship. They also said it seemed like Horowitz was genuinely happy “Moonlight” won.
— Porsche (@PoMeetsWorld) February 27, 2017
I give one of the producers of “La La Land”, Jordan Horowitz, mad props for having good sportsmanship after the mix up 🙌🏾 #Oscars
— Obama Out (@Crazy_Mofoo) February 27, 2017
Not to be overlooked — @jehorowitz just handled a complete train wreck with dignity and grace on the biggest stage in the world.
— Seth Grahame-Smith (@sethgs) February 27, 2017
But not everyone thought Horowitz handled the situation correctly. Some thought Horowitz seemed eager to put the Beatty in his place by snatching the correct best picture card from the Hollywood icon and holding it up to the camera.
Okay, but the way Jordan Horowitz snatched the result from Warren Beatty was brutally rude. It wasn’t even his fault! Fucking jackass.
— Collor Acosta 🌻 (@CollorAcosta) February 27, 2017
Another added: “Jordan Horowitz thank you for recognizing the Oscar oops but really dude, your rude behavior toward Warren Beatty was much worse.”
Beatty had somehow been given a duplicate of the card announcing that Emma Stone had won best actress for “La La Land” instead of the card for best picture winner “Moonlight.” After Horowitz’s announcement, Beatty acknowledged as much and explained that’s why he hesitated to announce “La La Land” as the winner.
PricewaterhouseCoopers, the longtime accounting firm in charge of the Oscar ballots, took responsibility for somehow delivering the wrong card to Beatty and Dunaway. The firm released an apology statement and said it was investigating how the mix up happened.Producers Jordan Horowitz and Gary Gilbert attend the 89th Annual Academy Awards (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
After the ceremony, Horowitz, 36, gave a play-by-play interview to E! News, in which he said everything on stage “happened really fast.”
But he said he had to act: “Listen, I’m a producer, I gather things together and I change direction and march things forward.”
Like Jenkins, he said the creators of his film and of “Moonlight” had developed a great deal of respect for one another through the awards season. He also felt he had to back up what he had said in his acceptance speech, moments before learning that his film wasn’t the correct winner.
He said: “I had just gotten finished saying how much love there was in the community, how I want to do bold and diverse work, and so to be able to put that into action, and make that physical by bringing those guys up on stage and giving them the award that they won. … It was an honor.”