"And the Academy Award for Best Picture..."
Those words did not end well as legendary actor Warren Beatty announced the wrong movie -- La La Land instead of Moonlight -- had won the top award at last year's Oscars. The accounting firm PwC has made changes to ensure such a gaffe doesn't occur again.
It was a picture of confusion in the long minutes that followed, and even host Jimmy Kimmel was baffled.
"I still can't explain how it happened," he said. "I know what happened, but I don't know how it did."
Kimmel was out of position, in the audience for a closing gag with Matt Damon.
"Jimmy started going, 'Oh, hang on, wait a minute. Oh my God. Oh no. Oh no. Oh my God, I think they gave the wrong award,'" Damon said. "And I went, 'Stop it. Stop it.' And I looked up, and then all hell broke loose."
The mistake happened when a PwC partner mistakenly handed an envelope for the Best Actress winner category, which went to Emma Stone in La La Land, to the presenters of the Best Picture category, Beatty and Faye Dunaway. That resulted in La La Land being briefly named Best Picture, before one of that film's producers revealed the error and that Moonlight had in fact won.
"And then I thought, 'Oh, I'm the host. I'm the only one with a microphone on. I guess I have to go up there,'" Kimmel said.
The order of the awards was of particular note to Kimmel and Damon, who are known for doing bits together.
"I was nominated as a producer for Manchester by the Sea," Damon said. "So had they given the Best Actor award instead of the Best Actress award, Casey (Affleck) would've gotten the last award, and Manchester by the Sea would have been the movie that was wrongly given the Oscar. So Jimmy would've had to come take the Oscar out of my hand, and he goes, 'We would still be up there explaining that no, no, no, seriously, this is not a bit.'"
It didn't take long for Kimmel to recognize the historical significance.
"And then I realize, oh, this is one of those things where we're going to hear about forever," Kimmel said. "But there was no telling. We didn't know what happened. Forty minutes after the show, we still weren't clear."
As a result, there will be a new process in which the celebrity presenter will confirm they have the correct envelope before stepping onstage. PwC partners will also attend rehearsals, and there are new measures to quickly correct any mistake.
Other changes include the addition of a third balloting partner, a new formal procedure for when envelopes are handed over, and a ban on PwC partners using cellphones or social media during the show.
Don't miss the Oscars, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, Sunday, March 4 at 8 p.m. ET.
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Going for Gold: Jimmy Kimmel, Matt Damon reflect on Oscar gaffe
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