La La Land/Moonlight mix-up: There's an incredible conspiracy theory over the Best Picture blunder

La La Land/Moonlight mix-up: There's an incredible conspiracy theory over the Best Picture blunder

There's no business like show business, especially when the curtain falls to revel a mistake - but what if that mistake hides a dark secret? Some film fans certainly think so.

In the US last night, the seminal coming-of-age film Moonlight, starring Trevante Rhodes and Mahershala Ali, won Best Picture.

It took a while for us to find that fact out however, because presenter Faye Dunaway accidently announced the coveted title for La La Land.

A short while later, after the cast and crew of La La Land had taken to the stage, the mix-up was declared, and the golden statue was handed to director Barry Jenkins and his team.

In the wake of the mistake, Dunaway's co-presenter Warren Beatty explained that: “Emma Stone, La La Land” had been written in the envelope he was given to announce the award.

 I want to tell you what happened. I opened the envelope and it said 'Emma Stone, La La Land', and that is why I took such a long look at Faye and at you.

I wasn't trying to be funny. This is Moonlight for best picture.

Jimmy Kimmel, who was hosting that night, said later that Beatty had in fact been given the wrong envelope.

However, there are plenty of people poking holes in his story - partly because it's the internet and partly because there is some compelling evidence.

Emma Stone explained that she actually had her card with her the whole night, she had taken it after being awarded Best Actress earlier on.

Collider quickly shared this video with the caption: "So, uh, Emma Stone had her card the whole time???"

In the clip from the backstage interviews, Emma explained that she believed Moonlight was one of the "best films of all time" but...

I also was holding my Best Actress in a Leading Role card that entire time. So I don't mean to start stuff, but whatever that was... I had that card.

Twitter was instantly awash with conspiracy theories. If Beatty had been given the Best Actress in a Leading Role card to mistakenly read out, how on earth did Emma Stone still have her's?

So what's the truth?

Well, we obviously can't tell you for certain what happened on the night, but this piece of information might be useful to quash some of the rumours.

In an article published in Medium on February 10, Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz from PricewaterhouseCoopers (who "know the list of Oscar winners before the rest of the world,") explained what it was like counting Oscar votes and what happens backstage.

The most important paragraph to read, is this one:

Bran Cullinan: The producers decide what the order of the awards will be. We each have a full set. I have all 24 envelopes in my briefcase; Martha has all 24 in hers. We stand on opposite sides of the stage, right off-screen, for the entire evening, and we each hand the respective envelope to the presenter. It doesn’t sound very complicated, but you have to make sure you’re giving the presenter the right envelope.

So there you have it, it is theoretically possible that a second identical card from the second briefcase was mistakenly handed to the presenters on the night, resulting in the confusion.

I say again, there's no business like show business.

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