“Moonlight” is best picture of 2017, not “La La Land” as originally announced by Faye Dunaway. While the actors and producers of “La La Land” were in the middle of thanking their colleagues and family members for their support, a man ran on stage with an envelope open and exclaimed, “No, I’m sorry, there’s a mistake. ‘Moonlight’, you guys won ‘Best Picture’.”
The camera then captured the envelope in the man’s hand, proving that “Moonlight” was printed there as ‘Best Picture’, and not “La La Land”, and the audience started screaming and gasping, and nobody could tell if it was a mistake or a joke for at least a few moments.
— karen (⊙ヮ⊙) (@magicrobins) February 27, 2017
The accounting firm who manages the balloting for the Oscars, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, claimed responsibility for the mistake and said they accidentally gave Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty the wrong envelope — they were given ‘Best Actress’ instead of ‘Best Film’, and you could tell Beatty was confused when he saw what was printed there.
— ABC News (@ABC) February 27, 2017
Only two accountants are responsible for counting ballots, and they describe their process and experience in this blog post published on Medium. The same two accountants are responsible for handing out the ballots and side-stage, from opposite sides of the stage, and they each hand the presenters their respective envelopes.
Needless to say, there are a lot of apologies being sent to the cast and crew of “La La Land” for the confusion, and to “Moonlight” for their temporary loss.