Oscar 2017: La La Land Handles Epic Error Gracefully

Director Barry Jenkins told “CBS This Morning” that the mix-up that resulted in “Moonlight” being named the winner a few minutes after La La Land was mistakenly announced only added to the surreal quality of the night for him.

“La La Land” producer Jordan Horowitz told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that after learning the truth he wanted to “make sure that ‘Moonlight’ got the recognition it deserves.”

The players on both films have become friendly while traversing the awards circuit together during the past few months.

Barry Jenkins: Truth Stranger than Fiction

“They say truth is stranger than fiction. That was the moment I’ve been living in,” Jenkins said, adding that it still felt “surreal” to him to be up on the Oscar stage.

At the climax/anti-climax of the telecast, presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty announced “La La Land” as the best picture winner.  But after the movie’s cast and producers were on stage, “La La Land” producer Jordan Horowitz came to the mic to explain there was a mistake and that the top honor actually went to “Moonlight.”

“It just made it much more complicated,” Jenkins said. “The celebration is bound up now between our film, ‘La La Land’ and the Academy in a very complicated way. As somewhat of a Shakespearean tragedy, maybe is a bit more interesting,” he said. 

For McCraney, the confusion and the time pressure “made it difficult to say all the thank-yous we needed to say. But at the same way, it was a great way to show all the camaraderie we had for both of the films.”

Horowitz has earned kudos for his graceful handling of what had to be a crushing blow for the “La La Land” team.

“It was a surreal moment for sure but I wanted to make sure the right thing was done. At that point it was not about me — it was about making sure ‘Moonlight’ got the recognition it deserves,” Horowitz told “GMA.”  “Those guys are my friends. I wanted to make sure they had their moment.”

Horowitz said “it was just confusion and chaos” on stage and “this slow, steady realization that something wasn’t right.” Finally, the showing of the card inside the envelope was the way to prove that he wasn’t kidding in citing “Moonlight” as the real winner.

“When everybody saw that in writing then it was really clear this was something that was happening,” Horowitz said.