Oscars 2017: La La Land incorrectly announced as Best Picture over Moonlight

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Kayleigh Dray

Just as almost everybody predicted it would, La La Land was announced as the Best Picture winner at the 2017 Academy Awards.

Unfortunately, the gong was actually supposed to go to Moonlight. And, even more unfortunately, nobody realised the error until the La La Land team were almost halfway through their acceptance speech.

Warren Beatty, who was presenting the award with Faye Dunaway, read out La La Land, and the cast and crew jumped up to accept their award.

Just as their acceptance speech was coming to an end, there was… well, there was what can only be described as a kerfuffle onstage, as Beatty shamefacedly shuffled back onto the stage to reveal that he’d read out the wrong film.

Coming-of-age drama Moonlight, he explained, was the true winner.

Watch the moment for yourself below:

“I wasn’t trying to be funny,” said Beatty, explaining that they had been handed the previous winner’s envelope – for Emma Stone’s La La Land victory.

“That’s why I looked at Faye for a really long time.”

After wresting the gong from the hands of the La La Land producers, he added: “I’m going to be really proud to hand this to my friends from Moonlight.”

Moonlight, directed by Barry Jenkins and adapted from an unpublished play by Tarrell Alvin McCraney, premiered at the Telluride film festival in 2016.

Telling the story of a gay black teenager from a rough neighbourhood in Miami, it was immediately met with critical acclaim – and, made for $1.6 million, it is the lowest-budget Big Picture winner of all time.

Jenkins, taking to the stage to collect his film’s rightful award, said: “Very clearly, even in my dreams this could not be true, but to hell with dreams! I'm done with it because this is true.

“Oh, my goodness. I have to say it is true, it's not fake. We've been on the road 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. Man.”

Barry Jenkins and Tarrell Alvin McCraney celebrate their Oscars win

Barry Jenkins and Tarrell Alvin McCraney celebrate their Oscars win

The Oscars 2017 winners

Best Picture: Moonlight

Best Actress: Emma Stone, La La Land

Best Actor: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis, Fences

Best Supporting Actor: Mahersala Ali, Moonlight

Best Director: Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Best Animated Feature Film: Zootopia

Best Original Song: City of Stars, La La Land


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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