The ending even shocked hardened Hollywood veterans. Minutes after "La La Land" was mistakenly announced as the very best picture winner at the Oscars ... the actual Oscar went to the cast and crew behind the indie film "Moonlight," a moment that drew audible gasps and had absolutely everyone asking, "What occurred?"
PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm that tallies the Oscars voting, later apologized, saying in a statement that the presenters have been erroneously given the incorrect envelope.
Here is the full breakdown of the dramatic very best image mix-up.
Presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty take the stage to introduce the very best picture nominees.
Beatty opens the envelope, takes out one piece of paper and appears to look inside the envelope for a second piece of paper.
Beatty smiles, pauses, says "and the Academy Award..." then deliberately pauses once again. He looks back down at the paper just before saying, "For most effective image..."
"You happen to be impossible -- Come on!" Dunaway says, and Beatty passes the paper to her.
Dunaway glances at the paper and announces, "La La Land"!
Just after the "La La Land" team embraces, they leave their seats and head to the stage to accept the biggest award of the night.
"Moonlight" director Barry Jenkins later told reporters backstage, "I assume all the motion pictures that had been nominated were worthy, so I accepted the results. I applauded like every person else."
"I noticed the commotion that was happening, and I believed something strange had occurred," Jenkins said.
"La La Land" producer Jordan Horowitz, holding the Oscar and the envelope on stage, begins his acceptance speech.
Backstage, persons begin to realize a thing is amiss when an Oscars producer walks on stage.
As "La La Land" producer Fred Berger gives his acceptance speech, a crowd is hovering behind him, and "La La Land" star Emma Stone, who just won the very best actress award moments before, is seen mouthing, "Oh my God."
Berger concludes his acceptance speech, turns to the crowd behind him ... then turns back to the mic, saying, "We lost, by the way."
Horowitz adds, "Guys, I'm sorry, no, there's a mistake. 'Moonlight,' you guys won best image."
"This is not a joke," "La La Land" producer Marc Platt says. "I’m afraid they read the incorrect factor."
BREAKING UPDATE: Following incorrect announcement, 'Moonlight' has won 'Best Picture' at the #Oscars. https://t.co/o8KUR4ZHUm pic.twitter.com/euLTgShYlN
"This is not a joke," Horowitz adds. "'Moonlight' has won greatest picture."
Backstage there was an audible, collective gasp, then silence.
Horowitz holds the winning very best picture envelope that says "Moonlight" and shows the audience. He announces "'Moonlight,' greatest picture," and the crowd erupts.
"There was a lot of confusion on stage, and at a certain point it was clear that the incorrect envelope had been offered," Horowitz told "GMA" exclusively this morning. "Then they sort of showed us the finest image envelope, and it said ‘Moonlight,’ and that is when I sort of jumped to the mic and produced certain everyone knew what was going on."
He added, "It was like this slow, steady realization that anything wasn’t appropriate. It required to be corrected so we jumped in and did it."
Horowitz mentioned he held up the envelope because "I consider folks required clarity at that moment."
Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel tries to lighten the mood, saying, "This is quite unfortunate what occurred."
"Personally, I blame Steve Harvey for this," Kimmel says, alluding to Harvey's crowning the incorrect Miss Universe winner.
"I would like to see you get an Oscar anyway," Kimmel says to Horowitz.
"I am going to be really proud to hand this to my friends from 'Moonlight,'" Horowitz says.
Then it was time for Beatty to take the mic.
"Warren, what did you do?" jokes Kimmel.
"I want to tell you what occurred," Beatty says to the audience.
"I opened the envelope and it stated Emma Stone, 'La La Land.' That is why I took such a extended look at Faye and at you, I wasn't attempting to be funny," Beatty says.
"Well, you had been funny," says Kimmel.
As Beatty spoke, Horowitz was observed on stage in the background embracing "Moonlight" supporting actor winner Mahershala Ali and other people from the "Moonlight" group. Horowitz then hands off the Oscar.
"This is 'Moonlight,' the ideal picture," Beatty says, and the audience erupts in applause.
Matt Damon whistles.
As Jenkins speaks to the crowd, he says, "Even in my dreams, this could not be true. But to hell with dreams, I am done with it, for the reason that this is correct. Oh, my goodness.
"I'm nonetheless not sure this is true, but thank you to the Academy and it is so humbling to be standing up right here."
Jenkins told reporters that Beatty refused to show anyone the winning card before displaying him.
"He came upstairs, and he walked over to me, and he showed the card. Everybody was asking, 'Can I see the card?' And he's like, 'No, Barry Jenkins has to see the card. I have to have him to know,'" Jenkins recalled. "And he showed it to me, and I felt greater about what had happened."
As Kimmel concluded the show, he says, "I do not know what happened. I blame myself for this."
"Let’s remember, it’s just an awards show," he continues. "I imply, we hate to see persons disappointed but the excellent news is, we got to see some additional speeches. We had some fantastic motion pictures. I knew I would screw this show up, I definitely did. Thank you for watching. I’m back to perform tomorrow night at my standard show. I guarantee I’ll in no way come back. Goodnight!"
PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm that tallies the Oscars voting, stated in a statement just after the show, "We sincerely apologize to 'Moonlight,' 'La La Land,' Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and Oscar viewers for the error that was created throughout the award announcement for most effective picture. The presenters had mistakenly been given the incorrect category envelope and when discovered, was quickly corrected. We are presently investigating how this could have occurred, and deeply regret that this occurred.
We appreciate the grace with which the nominees, the Academy, ABC, and Jimmy Kimmel handled the situation."
In a video posted last week to the PricewaterhouseCoopers YouTube web page, a single of the firm's two co-balloting leaders mentioned, "We have the winners in sealed envelopes that we hold and preserve all through the evening and hand these to the presenters just before they stroll out on stage."
The Academy did not instantly problem a statement.
In the midst of the shocking mix-up, it was 1 "La La Land" producer's gracious words on stage -- "I'm going to be really proud to hand this to my close friends from 'Moonlight'" -- that kept the evening moving forward.
Horowitz told "GMA" this morning that he "wanted to make certain that the correct point was completed."
"For the reason that, you know, at that point it was not about me ... it was about creating certain that ‘Moonlight’ got the recognition it truly deserves."
"These guys are my pals," Horowitz stated of the men and women behind "Moonlight," whom Horowitz mentioned he got to know nicely during the months-lengthy buildup to the Oscars. "I wanted to make certain they had their moment."
The type gesture didn't go unnoticed for Jenkins.
"The people from 'La La Land' were so gracious," Jenkins told reporters backstage. "I can not picture being in their position and obtaining to do that. I wasn't speechless mainly because we won. I was speechless for the reason that it was so gracious of them to do that."
ABC News' Morgan Korn, Jeff Costello, Lindsey Jacobson, Lesley Messer and Molly Shaker contributed to this report.
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