- The Washington Times - Monday, February 27, 2017

“Moonlight” director and co-writer Barry Jenkins said after the Oscars ceremony concluded that the best picture envelope, opened by Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, had two cards in it, not one.

Mr. Beatty and Miss Dunaway announced that “La La Land” had won best picture. Amid celebrations, an Academy member ran onstage to say that a mistake had been made and “Moonlight” was in fact the winner.

“No explanation was given,” Mr. Jenkins said of the awkward moment that closed out the 89th annual Academy Awards. “I will say I saw two cards, and I will just say that things happen,” he said, far less irritated than whimsical about perhaps the most surreal moment in Oscars history.

Mr. Jenkins said he was desperate to see the card announcing that his film had won best picture, however, he said that Mr. Beatty would not show it to anyone else but Mr. Jenkins himself alone after the ceremony ended.

“Warren refused to show the card to anybody before he showed it to me. He came upstairs and showed me the card,” Mr. Jenkins said in the press interview room moments after the telecast ended. “He said ‘Barry Jenkins has to see the card.’ He showed it to me, and I felt better about what happened.”

On Monday, PriceWaterhouseCoopers apologized for the error.

SEE ALSO: And the Oscar go to…

“We sincerely apologize to ‘Moonlight,’ ‘La La Land,’ Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and Oscar viewers for the error that was made during the award announcement for Best Picture. 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,” the accounting firm said in a statement.

Despite the mix-up, Mr. Jenkins said that the creators of “La La Land” were incredibly gracious in the moment when they learned their film was not in fact the big winner.

“I can’t imagine being in their position and having to do that,” he said, adding that the creators of both films have traveled the awards circuit together for months. “I was speechless not because we won, but because it was so gracious of them to do that.

“It’s unfortunate that things happened the way we did, but damn, we won best picture,” he said. “I don’t think my life could be changed anymore than it has in the last 20 to 30 minutes.”

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