It's actually not the first time the Oscars have presented the wrong winner
If the Best Picture mixup at last night’s Academy Awards had you cringing so hard you worried you might throw your back out, then we suggest you take a seat. Because Sunday night was not the first time in Oscar history that the wrong award winner was announced.
Though this was the first time the Best Picture category was flubbed, the wrong award recipient was announced in the Best Music Score category by Sammy Davis Jr. in 1964. After being handed the wrong envelope, Davis proclaimed that John Addison had won for Tom Jones, when in fact Andre Previn had clinched the award for Irma La Douce.
Watch the whole uncomfortable exchange go down in the video below. (And be sure to bask in the glory of Sammy’s shiny, shiny hair.)
Davis obviously handed it like a pro, but come on. We truly can’t imagine anything more awkward.
Last night’s error seemingly happened because presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were handed the wrong envelope. Instead of receiving the Best Picture card, they were handed Emma Stone’s Best Actress announcement, which of course mentions La La Land. So we can understand where they went wrong, but OY!
But like Davis, the casts and crews of both La La Land and Moonlight — and the mistaken presenters — handled last night’s epic mess-up professionally and graciously. On stage, La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz was the first to notice the mistake, and made a point to correct it immediately, saying, “No, there’s a mistake. Moonlight, you guys won best picture. This is not a joke.”
And as Oscar host Jimmy Kimmel said to Horowitz, “I would like to see you get an Oscar anyway,” Horowitz interrupted to reply, “I’m going to be really proud to hand this to my friends from Moonlight.”
A truly epic night, indeed. Congratulations, Moonlight!