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It's Not Fake News: Moonlight Wins Best Picture

It's Not Fake News: Moonlight Wins Best Picture


In an astonishing moment, the film about a black gay youth triumphed at the Oscars after La La Land was mistakenly announced as the winner.

Moonlight won Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

The film about a black gay youth has made history in several regards. It is the first film centered on a queer person of color to take home the entertainment industry's highest honor.

The televised moment was also a jaw-dropping upset. La La Land, the expected winner, was initially announced as Best Picture by presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty.

The jubilant La La Land team came to the stage to accept the award. As they gave their acceptance speeches, staff from the telecast could be seen frantically running around the stage, checking the envelope, as stars and producers hugged and cheered.

Midway, in a surreal moment, a producer announced that Moonlight, the underdog in the race, was the actual Best Picture honoree. "There's a mistake. Moonlight, you guys won Best Picture," said Jordan Horowitz, producer of La La Land. "This is not a joke. Come on up." A voice off camera repeated, "This is not a joke. I'm afraid they read the wrong thing."

Beatty confirmed, attributing the mix-up to being handed the wrong envelope, in which the name of La La Land actress Emma Stone was printed.

"I blame Steve Harvey for this," said host Jimmy Kimmel, who attempted to mitigate the error, which shocked the crowd at the Dolby Theatre, with a humorous reference to a similar incident at last year's Miss Universe pageant.

Afterward, an astonished Moonlight team took the stage while La La Land's filed off. Although obviously disappointed, Horowitz insisted on personally handing the Best Picture Oscar to director Barry Jenkins.

Producer Adele Romanski seemed flabbergasted. "I'm still not sure this is real," she said, adding that the win will be "inspiring to people, little black boys and brown girls and other folks watching at home who feel marginalized."

The film, which received eight nominations, also won Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney).

McCraney, an out writer who penned the original source material -- the play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue -- dedicated the award "to all those black and brown boys and girls and non-gender conforming who don't see themselves" in his acceptance speech.

"All you people out there who feel like there's no mirror for you, that your life is not reflected ... we have your back," added Jenkins.

The win is a remarkable turnaround from last year, when a lack of diversity gave rise to the #OscarsSoWhite protests. It's also the latest in a slew of honors for Moonlight, which on Saturday swept the Independent Spirit Awards.

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