That Moonlight Mix-Up

It’s been revealed that the pair responsible for the Oscar’s ‘Best Picture’ blunder and so called ‘envelopegate’ will not be working with the Academy Awards in the future. President of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, has voiced her anger at the mistake that she feels has ultimately stolen the focus away from what was otherwise “a most beautiful, beautiful, wonderful evening.”

The accountants for PricewaterhouseCoopers have been named as Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz, who did not follow protocol and failed to act quickly enough during the error in which La La Land were incorrectly named as the winners. The film’s production team were in the middle of their acceptance speeches before the correct winning envelope was handed to one of their producers who interrupted the celebrations to announce that Moonlight were in fact the true winners of best picture after a monumental envelope mix-up.

After the incident, the shocked Moonlight cast hesitantly gathered onstage to take their rightful place as the winners and present their acceptance speeches, in what must have been an emotional rollercoaster. Despite the shock, the live audience’s wide-eyed gazes and the home viewers sitting in stunned silence, Moonlight’s director Barry Jenkins has since looked at the moment in a grateful light by saying “it’s messy, but it’s kind of gorgeous. You have these two groups of people who came together for a second. There’s a picture with me hugging Jordan [Horowitz, a producer of La La Land], and Adele [Romanski, producer of Moonlight] has her arm on his shoulder. That’s what the moment was.”

But how could such a shocking mix-up happen at one of the most acclaimed award ceremonies? Cullinan had previously mentioned that there are duplicates of each envelope for security purposes. “From a security perspective, we double up everything. That’s why there’s two of us. We have two briefcases, that are identical, and we have two entire sets of winning envelopes. Martha carries one of those briefcases, I carry the other.”

Despite the global shock and the Academy Director’s anger, there’s no denying the outpouring of love for coming of age drama Moonlight; which is the ‘smallest’ film to date to have won an Oscar for best picture – with production costs of just $1.5 million, against La La Land coming in at a massive $30 million in comparison. The emotional story that follows the life of a gay African American man has been praised for it’s raw representation of identity, friendship, family and love; something that Hollywood is known for ignoring in an inclusive way. Not only is the film’s narrative a true triumph of great story telling, but the talent and the grace of the cast and crew make it a deserving winner.

Moonlight is in UK cinemas now!