Barry Jenkins, Mahershala Ali and Emma Stone react to Oscars best picture mix-up

The 2017 Oscars had a most unexpected ending.

ByLesley Messer
February 27, 2017, 2:32 AM

— -- The 2017 Oscars took a turn for the surreal when "La La Land" was announced as the best picture winner and then it was revealed that there had been a mix-up and the honor belonged to "Moonlight."

Perhaps nobody was more shocked than the cast and crew of the two films.

Afterward, "La La Land" star Emma Stone and "Moonlight" star Mahershala Ali and director Barry Jenkins spoke to reporters backstage about the situation.

"The folks from 'La La Land' were so gracious. I can't imagine being in their position and having to do that," said Jenkins, who won best adapted screenplay with Tarell Alvin McCraney. "I wasn't speechless because we won. I was speechless because it was so gracious of them to do that."

During the final moments of the Academy Awards on Sunday night, the people behind "La La Land" were onstage accepting the best picture award when, suddenly, producer Jordan Horowitz announced that there had been a mistake. "This is not a joke," he told the crowd, revealing that "Moonlight" was actually the winner.

"I f---ing love 'Moonlight.' God, I love 'Moonlight' so much. I'm so excited for 'Moonlight,' and of course, it was an amazing thing to hear 'La La Land.' I think we all would've loved to win best picture, but we are so excited for 'Moonlight,'" Stone told reporters. "I think it's one of the best films of all time, so I was pretty beside myself."

She seemed skeptical of presenter Warren Beatty's explanation that he was given an envelope containing a card printed with her name and "La La Land." She said that the entire time, she had the card from when the best actress Oscar was given to her. A representative for PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm that handles Oscars voting, told ABC News in 2016 that it makes two of every card for the ceremony, though the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has not yet issued a statement about the incident.

"I don't mean to start stuff, but whatever story that was, I had that card, so I'm not sure what happened," Stone said.

Ali said the moment was bittersweet for him. Initially, he was excited for the "La La Land" team, and like Jenkins, he felt terrible about what happened.

"I just didn't want to go up there and take something from someone," he said. "It's very hard to feel joy in a moment like that."

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