LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — An unprecedented flub at the Academy Awards in a historic Oscar upset that followed Faye Dunaway reading the wrong winner for Best Picture dominated the conversation during the awards show after-parties. Appearing confused, Warren Beatty first looked at the envelope and then handed it to Dunaway.
Shock and chaos spread through the Dolby Theatre when producers of “La La Land” were stopped in the middle of their acceptance speeches to be informed that Dunaway had incorrectly read “La La Land” as the winner.
Host Jimmy Kimmel came forward to inform the cast that “Moonlight” had indeed won, showing the envelope as proof.
Producer Jordan Horwitz then graciously passed his statue to the “Moonlight” producers.
The antics did little to bolster TV audiences, however: the Oscars telecast drew an average audience of just under 33 million and a roughly 13 percent drop in the coveted 18-49 demographic, according to Variety.
While the telecast did well in Los Angeles, San Diego and the biggest U.S. cities, the show’s overall 9.1 rating marked the smallest audience in nine years, Variety reported.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), which has overseen the Oscars balloting process on behalf of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for decades, issued a statement apologizing for the “error”.
According to the statement, the “presenters had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope and when discovered, was immediately corrected. We are currently investigating how this could have happened, and deeply regret that this occurred.”
Hours before the mistake went viral, PWC tweeted out an image of its staffers watching over the envelopes.
Presenter Warren Beatty was even photographed holding the envelope clearly labeled “Actress In A Leading Role”.
Audience reaction – including from A-list starts like Matt Damon, Dwayne Johnson, Selma Hayek, and others – were captured in several photos posted to social media.
But that wasn’t the only mishap during the telecast.
An Australian film producer says she’s “alive and well” despite her photo’s inclusion in the “In Memoriam” tribute at the Oscars.
Jan Chapman’s photo was shown during the montage next to the name of Janet Patterson, an Australian costume designer who died in 2015.
Chapman tells Variety that prior to the awards, she urged Patterson’s agency to “check any photograph which might be used.” Chapman says she was told that “the Academy had it covered.” She adds that it’s “very disappointing that the error was not picked up.”
Chapman and Patterson were both nominated for Oscars for their work on 1993’s “The Piano.”
The Academy didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)