Oscars mishap causes confusion; musical ‘La La Land’ loses to drama ‘Moonlight’


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  As the 89th Academy Awards began to wrap up, actor and actress Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway took to the stage to announce the winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Beatty, with a confused look on his face, handed the envelope to Dunaway, where she announced this year’s winner as the film “La La Land.”  After the “La La Land” cast and crew had taken the stage and began delivering acceptance speeches, it was revealed that the true winner of Best Picture was the film “Moonlight.”

“Moonlight,” a film written and directed by Barry Jenkins, finished out the evening with three Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor.

“There was a time when I thought this movie was impossible, because I couldn’t bring it to fruition, I couldn’t bring myself to tell another story,” Jenkins said.

In the midst of the acceptance speeches, “La La Land” producer, Jordan Horowitz, approached the microphone saying, “I’m sorry, no, there’s a mistake.  ‘Moonlight,’ you guys won Best Picture.  This is not a joke, come up here.  This is not a joke, ‘Moonlight’ has won Best Picture.”

The “La La Land” cast and crew then proceeded to leave the stage which was soon filled with the cast and crew of “Moonlight.”

“Moonlight” chronicles the life of a young gay African American male, growing up in Miami.  Originally based on the play, “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue,” “Moonlight’s” win for Best Picture is monumental as it is the first film to win Best Picture featuring a non-straight character in the leading role.  “Moonlight” currently sits with a 98 percent critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Around the Marshall University campus, students have differing opinions on the circumstances that occurred at the Academy Awards.  Junior Maggie Westfall, said she didn’t think it should have happened.

“It’s like the big finale, you know, why would that happen?” Westfall said.

Marshall University Junior Haley Hall said she was very confused by the events that had happened, but was happy for “Moonlight.”

“It’s confusing because they just get a piece of paper with who won it, so I don’t really know how it’s a mix-up unless things weren’t counted, but I mean, I guess it happens.  I’m excited for the ‘Moonlight’ cast because it’s like the first all black cast to win that award, so that’s exciting,” Hall said.

Even students who did not spectate the event heard word of it due to its spread on social media.  Junior Sara Tennant is one of these students.

“It was funny to see it all on Twitter, like all the memes and stuff.  I didn’t really watch it, so I just saw people’s reactions to it.  Some people seemed upset about it because ‘La La Land’ lost,” Tennant said.

Matthew Groves can be contacted at [email protected]