LOS ANGELES: In a rare and unexpected gaffe, “La La Land” which dominated the 89th Academy Awards, was announced the winner of the Best Picture category, when in fact it was “Moonlight”.
Presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway who were called to announce the winner, pondered a while before reading the cue card, which ended up being wrong.
The “La La Land” makers were mostly through their speech before the error was realised, and a representative said: “There’s a mistake… ‘Moonlight’, you guys won Best Picture… This is not a joke, I’m afraid they read the wrong thing. ‘Moonlight’ Best Picture.”
“Moonlight”, reportedly one of the films with the lowest budget ($1.5 million) to win an Oscar, was nominated for the Best Picture honour with “Hidden Figures”, “Hell or High Water”, “Arrival”, “Lion”, “La La Land”, “Fences”, “Manchester by the Sea” and “Hacksaw Ridge”.
The winning film tells a story of a young Cuban black man who struggles through life in a rough neighborhood of Miami. The victory of this tale also goes on to make a strong statement at a time when US President Donald Trump has launched a tirade against immigrants in the country.
After the unprecedented mix-up on stage, Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel said: “I blame myself for this. I knew I’d screw this up… I promise I’ll never come back.”
The incident was reminiscent of comedian Steve Harvey’s infamous Miss Universe goof up in 2016, when he mistakenly gave the crown to the wrong winner.
Taking a dig at the Oscars, a post from the official account of Miss Universe, read: “Have your people call our people – we know what to do. #Oscars #MissUniverse.”