LOS ANGELES — Oscar winner, take two.
Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight” — not, as it turned out, “La La Land” — won Best Picture at the Academy Awards in a historic Oscar upset and an unprecedented fiasco that saw one winner swapped for another while the “La La Land” producers were in mid-speech. Presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway apparently took the wrong envelope — the one for Best Actress winner Emma Stone — onto the stage for the final prize. When they read “La La Land” as the winner, representatives for ballot tabulators PwC — formerly Price Waterhouse Coopers — realized the mistake and raced on stage to try to stop the acceptance speeches. Host Jimmy Kimmel came forward to inform the cast that “Moonlight” had indeed won, showing the inside of the envelope as proof. “I knew I would screw this up,” said Kimmel, a first-time host. Gasps were heard around the auditorium. Presenters, winners and Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences huddled to discuss the debacle. Beatty refused to give up the envelopes until he could hand them first to Jenkins. “La La Land” director Damien Chazelle and Jenkins hugged amid the chaos. “Even in my dreams this cannot be true,” said an astonished Jenkins, once he reached the microphone. “To hell with dreams! I’m done with it because this is true.” The “La La Land” team was celebrating on stage when producer Jordan Horowitz took to the microphone to say: “There’s been a mistake. ‘Moonlight,’ you guys won Best Picture.” He then graciously passed his statue to the “Moonlight” producers, saying, “This is not a joke.” In a statement, PwC apologized to each film, Beatty, Dunaway and Oscar viewers. “The presenters had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope and when discovered, was immediately corrected,” said the accounting firm. PwC, which has long watched over the Oscar ballots, said it was currently investigating “how this could have happened.”