Moonlight pushes 'La La Land' to 'La La Losers'

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, March 1st, 2017 at 4:59 PM

The sun is setting, the stars are coming out and politically charged jokes are being streamed to millions of people worldwide.

The 89th Annual Academy Awards took place this past Sunday, Feb. 26, and instead of dealing with accusations of racism like last year, when no nominees were African American, this years Oscar's used their stage to be the accusers.

The most memorable moment of the night did not come from a political statement, it came from possibly the biggest mess up in television history and for that reason, this year’s Academy Awards should stick out high above the previous 88 years.

Like most years, the most memorable part of the evening comes at the end of the show, when the Academy crowns the “Best Picture” of the year; this year, the Academy chose “Moonlight.” Unfortunately, the “Best Picture” is not going to be talked about for the great film “Moonlight” is, it will be remembered for the film that won, but then suddenly didn't.

Warren Beatty (“Bonnie and Clyde,” “Bulworth”) is the man everyone is talking about right now. During the Best Picture announcement, he declared “La La Land” the winner, even though it wasn't. Beatty was the one who opened up the envelope containing the “Best Picture” winner, but he was not the one who announced “La La Land” as the winner. Faye Dunaway (“Bonnie and Clyde” and “Chinatown”) is the one who actually read the name “La La Land” to the audience, but Beatty is taking all the flak.

With that being said, neither actor should be receiving any blame for this mistake.

Taking a look at the footage, Beatty was very confused when he opened up the envelope. He kept looking for another sheet and knew instantly there was something wrong.

He was so certain that a mistake was made, he refused to announce a winner, leaving Dunaway to step up and announce “La La Land” as the winner, because that is what the envelope said.

So once “La La Land” was declared the winner, the crowd cheered, the cast and crew went up on stage, all hugging, and proceeded to give their acceptance speeches.

As the third acceptance speech was underway, something was off. There was a commotion behind the cast as they started taking the trophies back. This lead to one of the producers for “La La Land” coming up to the mic and stating that they had lost, and “Moonlight” was the real “Best Picture.” It seemed like a joke at first, until they revealed the real envelope that was meant to be read that had “Moonlight” written in the middle of it.

As the situation was becoming clear, it turned out the envelope Beatty and Dunaway was given was from the last category that was announced, “Best Actress,” in which Emma Stone won for “La La Land.” Seeing “La La Land” on the envelope, the two just assumed it was a typo but “La La Land” was still supposed to win.

It was an honest mistake that was handled very well by everyone involved. Jimmy Kimmel cracked a few jokes, “La La Land” cast congratulated “Moonlight” for their amazing film and “Moonlight” were gracious winners.

Taking away the embarrassment of the situation, the “Best Picture” announcement ended up being a very heartfelt moment.

Gabriel Hypes is the assistant arts editor for The Spectator and can be reached at

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