The 89th Academy Awards held by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) took place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California last week. The star-studded event honoured the best of films from the previous year and concluded with an epic gaffe where La La Land was incorrectly announced the winner for best film, but the award was later bestowed upon Moonlight and left everyone startled for the rest of the evening. La La Land won six awards including the coveted best actress and director grabbed by Emma Stone and Damien Chazelle.
Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)
Emma Stone (La La Land)
Best supporting actor
Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
Best supporting actress
Viola Davis (Fences)
Best animated short
Best animated feature
OJ: Made in America
Best makeup and hairstyling
Best costume design
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Best sound editing
Best sound mixing
Best foreign language film
Best production design
La La Land
Best visual effects
The Jungle Book
Best film editing
Best documentary short
The White Helmets
Best live-action short
La La Land
La La Land
City of Stars (La La Land)
Best original screenplay
Manchester by the Sea
Best adapted screenplay
Accounting firm PwC responsible for the blunder
An accountant for the Academy Awards botched the meticulous procedure for announcing the Oscar for best picture when he handed victory to La La Land before declaring Moonlight the real winner, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said last week. Accountant Brian Cullinan, who media reports said had been tweeting backstage shortly before, gave presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway the wrong envelope for the movie industry's top award, the accounting firm said in a statement.
In a gaffe that stunned the world, "Cullinan mistakenly handed the back-up envelope for Actress in a Leading Role instead of the envelope for Best Picture" to Beatty and Dunaway, PwC said.
"Once the error occurred, protocols for correcting it were not followed through quickly enough by Mr. Cullinan or his partner."
The Wall Street Journal and celebrity website TMZ.com reported that Cullinan had posted a backstage photo of actress Emma Stone on social network Twitter minutes before the mix-up.
The photo, from Cullinan's Twitter account, was later deleted but was still viewable on a cached archive of the page. The mistake was not rectified until the La La Land cast and producers were on stage giving their acceptance speeches. It was left to the musical's producer, Jordan Horowitz, to put things right.
"Guys, guys, I'm sorry. No. There's a mistake," Horowitz said. "Moonlight, you guys won best picture. This is not a joke."
It took three hours for PwC, which has been overseeing Academy Awards balloting for 83 years, initially to confirm that Beatty and Dunaway received the wrong category envelope.
PwC said it took full responsibility and apologized to the casts and crews of La La Land and Moonlight.
Under a PwC procedure, just two accountants know the names of the 24 winners after their names are placed in two sets of sealed envelopes. The two accountants also memorise the winning names.
Tradition has it that the envelopes are taken separately in two briefcases to the Academy Awards venue. The two accountants – in this case Cullinan and Martha Ruiz – are driven there separately, in case of an accident or traffic delays. The pair then stand offstage at opposite sides and hand envelopes to the respective presenters as each category