Here's What Everyone Involved in the Oscars' Envelopegate Is Saying Happened – So Far

The Academy Awards' Envelopegate — in which La La Land was incorrectly announced as the Best Picture winner — is the result of a mix-up

The mystery behind the Academy Awards’ Envelopegate — in which La La Land was incorrectly announced as the Best Picture winner, over Moonlight — has been mostly solved, and many people were involved or witnessed what occurred.

So far it appears the mix-up was the result of the incorrect card being given to presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, though it’s unclear by whom. (There are two copies of the winning card for each category and in this case, the errant duplicate is seemingly the Best Actress award.)

In a statement early Monday, PricewaterhouseCoopers, which is responsible for ensuring the security of the Oscars ballot, said, “The presenters had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope and when discovered, was immediately corrected.

“We are currently investigating how this could have happened, and deeply regret that this occurred.”

As we continue to sift through the details, here’s what the people who were at the ceremony are saying about the most memorable Oscar moment of the year.

Warren Beatty

“I want to tell you what happened,” Beatty said as he retook the stage after presenting the Best Picture Oscar … and after everyone realized the mistake.

“I opened the envelope and it said, ‘Emma Stone, La La Land,’ ” Beatty explained. “That’s why I took such a long look at Faye and at you. I wasn’t trying to be funny.”

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Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Beatty was later overheard at an after-party telling someone, “It was nice La La Land got to give speeches and then Moonlight did.”

Leaving the Dolby Theatre for the Governor’s Ball, he told reporters of the envelope, “I felt that maybe there was some sort of misprint.”

Emma Stone

“I f—— love Moonlight. I’m so excited for Moonlight,” Stone, who won Best Actress for her star turn in La La Land, told reporters backstage after the show. “It was an amazing thing to hear La La Land. We all would have loved to won Best Picture.”

“I also was holding my Best Actress in a Leading Role card the whole time. I’m not sure what happened, but I really wanted to talk to you guys first,” Stone said. (Because of the card copies, it’s possible for Stone to have one copy and for another copy to have been mistakenly handed to Beatty.)

“I think everyone’s in a state of confusion still. Excitement but confusion,” she said. “I think everyone is just so excited for Moonlight. It’s such an incredible film.”

Naomie Harris

“It is really surreal. I went up on stage with this weird expression on my face like, ‘What is happening?’ ” Moonlight star Harris said at the Governor’s Ball. “I don’t know what I’m going to look like on screen, I started shaking. I thought, Is this a prank or something?”

She continued, “It’s a shame it happened like that in a way, because it was such a beautiful moment. What is important is that we won and it’s a huge honor and we are totally and utterly thrilled. And we are going to celebrate big time tonight.”

Barry Jenkins

“I think all the movies that were nominated were worthy, so I accepted the results, I applauded like everyone else,” Jenkins, Moonlight‘s writer and director, said in the press room after the show.

“I noticed the commotion that was happening, and I thought something strange had occurred. I’m sure everybody saw my face, but I was speechless with the result. I had always watched the Academy Awards and I had never seen that happen before. It made a very special feeling even more special, but not in a way I expected.”


He added, “I will say, I saw two cards, and so things just happen. I wanted to see the card, and Warren refused to show the card to anybody before he showed it to me. And so he did. He came upstairs and he walked over to me, and he showed the card. Everyone was asking, ‘Can I see the card?’ And he was like, ‘No, Barry Jenkins has to see the card, I need him to know.’ And I felt better about what had happened.”

“I will say, the folks from La La Land were so gracious,” Jenkins said. “I can’t imagine being in their position and having to do that. We spent a lot of time together over the last six months, and I can’t imagine being in their position. It’s why I was speechless — I wasn’t speechless because I won, I was so speechless that they had to do that.”

Mahershala Ali

In the press room, Moonlight‘s Oscar-winning actor explained how things went down for him.

“When their [La La Land‘s] name was read, I wasn’t surprised, I was really happy for them,” Ali said. “It’s a group of really extraordinary people. When I did see security or people coming out onstage, and their moment was being disrupted in some way, I got really worried.”

Christopher Polk/Getty

“And then when they say, ‘Moonlight wins,’ it just threw me a bit,” Ali continued. “It threw me more than a bit. I just didn’t want to go up there and take something from somebody.

“It’s very hard to feel joy in a moment like that, but I feel very fortunate for all of us to have walked away with the Best Picture award. It’s pretty remarkable.”

Jordan Horowitz

It was Horowitz, a La La Land producer, who first announced the flub to the audience. He later described the moment to E!, saying, “There was a guy, a stagehand guy, who started kind of buzzing around, looking for the envelope” while the musical’s cast and crew where celebrating onstage.

When the envelope was found, the stagehand “opened it, and it said ‘Emma Stone, La La Land’ on it,” Horowitz said. “At that moment, it was clear there was a problem. They eventually found the Best Picture envelope.”


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