Cape Town – On Monday morning (SA time) we watched as the musical La La Land was announced as the winner of the coveted Best Picture Oscar.
The cast, over-joyed by the win, took to the stage to celebrate as they started thanking friends, family and colleagues.
Then that moment that will probably haunt the Academy Awards forever. There’s been a terrible mistake. The wrong winner was announced.
The Oscar, actually, belonged to the beautiful drama, Moonlight.
Chaos ensued. It was a disaster. Nobody knew what was going on. The La La Land cast had to handover the Oscar statuettes and the Moonlight cast was standing around not knowing if this was really happening right now.
It was a cringeworthy moment that could so easily have been avoided. Apparently the wrong envelope was given to Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway.
There are two envelopes for each category as a safety procedure. PricewaterhouseCoopers create two complete sets of actual winners' envelopes and stand with them at the opposite sides of the stage, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Warren was handed the "second" Best Actress envelope instead of the Best Picture envelope.
The Best Picture Oscar is usually the cherry on the Academy Awards cake. It’s the most prestigious award and a time for the film to bask in its well-deserved glory.
It’s a shining moment that gives the winning film its time in the spotlight - the pinnacle of award season that usually ends with tears of joy.
Moonlight deserved this moment.
It deserved to receive the full experience of being named the best of the best. The beautifully crafted film is a groundbreaking piece of cinema and it’s unfair that it has now been entangled in the Academy’s mess.
Moonlight was robbed of its Oscar glory.
And the Academy is yet to officially address the matter or release a statement or apology. (Update: PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm responsible for tabulating Oscar ballots, has since apologised for the error.)
Yes, La La Land is also a wonderful film and its cast too doesn’t deserve the humiliation of walking off stage after wrongly being crowned the winner.
It’s a mess and a horrible ending to an otherwise exciting awards season.
Moonlight is currently showing in cinemas and is definitely worth the watch.