The 2017 Oscars won't be remembered for the glitz or the glamour or even the savagely funny monologue from host Jimmy Kimmel. Instead, the 89th Academy Awards will forever be known for its infamous best picture snafu.
In case you need a reminder — 2017 was a long, rough year, we get it — the unexpected mistake happened when best picture presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway took the stage. As you can see in the video above, Beatty and Dunaway seem clearly unsure of themselves when they open the envelope, and as we now know, the one they actually had was for the award that had been presented previously: Emma Stone, who won best actress for La La Land. Sensing Beatty's hesitation to say a name, Dunaway took over and announced that La La Land was the winner, despite the fact they didn't even know who the best picture winner was supposed to be.
The cast and production team of La La Land then came on stage and made their emotional acceptance speeches for a solid two minutes before producer Jordan Horowitz finally took the mic to announce that their film had not won. "Guys, I'm sorry, no, there's a mistake," he said. "Moonlight, you guys won best picture. This is not a joke. Moonlight has won best picture." He then held up the real envelope with the winner inside for the cameras, which clearly read Moonlight.
"I opened the envelope and it said 'Emma Stone, La La Land,'" Beatty explained to the audience while the overjoyed and shocked Moonlight team made their way up to the stage. "That's why I took such a long pause and looked at Faye, and at you. I wasn't trying to be funny." The accounting firm that oversees Oscars votes, PricewaterhouseCoopers, later released a statement regarding the incident and has since severed ties with the accountants who handed Dunaway and Beatty the wrong envelope that night. Accountant Brian Cullinan was specifically called out since his heavy use of social media throughout the night might have contributed to how he mixed up the envelopes and gave the presenters the wrong one.
The 2018 Oscars will no doubt be extra vigilant about the envelopes when the award show airs on Sunday.