Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz addresses Moonlight mix-up in first post-Oscars 2017 interview

'It was a surreal moment.. There was a lot of confusion onstage'

Jack Shepherd
Tuesday 28 February 2017 09:39 GMT
Jordan Horowitz
Jordan Horowitz (AP)

The 89th Academy Awards will no doubt be remembered for years to come thanks to one of the most catastrophic mess-ups in Oscars history.

Presenting the Best Picture award, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, through no fault of their own (as clarified by the Academy), accidentally announced the winner to be La La Land.

In reality, though, the winner was Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight, leading to a monstrously awkward handover of statuettes from one cast to the other.

La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz has emerged as an unlikely hero from the situation, having been the person to first reveal that Moonlight won.

“Guys, guys, I’m sorry, no, there’s a mistake,” he told the Oscars audience. “Moonlight, you guys won best picture… This is not a joke. Come up here.”

Horowitz has since spoken about the incident, making his first public comments during a phone interview with Good Morning America.

"It was a surreal moment for sure,” he told the show’s host. "There was a lot of confusion onstage, and at a certain point it was clear that the wrong envelope had been given.

“Then they kind of showed us the best picture envelope, and it said Moonlight, and that's when I sort of jumped to the mic and made sure everybody knew what was going on."

"It was like this slow, steady realisation that something wasn't right. It needed to be corrected, so we jumped in and did it.”

Apple TV+ logo

Watch Apple TV+ free for 7 days

New subscribers only. £8.99/mo. after free trial. Plan auto-renews until cancelled

Try for free
Apple TV+ logo

Watch Apple TV+ free for 7 days

New subscribers only. £8.99/mo. after free trial. Plan auto-renews until cancelled

Try for free

Speaking about his role in the proceedings, Horowitz continued: ”I wanted to make sure that the right thing was done, because, you know, at that point it was not about me. It was about making sure that Moonlight got the recognition it really deserves.

Oscars 2017: Watch the La La Land-Moonlight Best Picture error in full

"As I said onstage, those guys are my friends. I wanted to make sure they had their moment.”

The producer revealed that he met Jenkins and the Moonlight cast at the Governors Ball after the main ceremony and spoke about the monumental moment.

"We kind of shared a moment, gave each other a hug, said, 'Wasn't that surreal?' and congratulated each other on our work and put it all behind us,” he told GMA. “We’ll move forward and do more work together.”

Meanwhile, the accountancy firm in charge of the Oscar balloting has issued a statement revealing what exactly happened.

“We sincerely apologise to Moonlight, La La Land, Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and Oscar viewers for the error that was made during the award announcement for best picture.

"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.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in