By now, you’ll know that the 89th Academy Awards came to a unique and perplexing conclusion on Sunday night. After being erroneously crowned the winner of Best Picture, the folks involved in La La Land were informed they were not in fact the winners. In a twist that would make M. Night Shaymalan proud, Moonlight was revealed to be the rightful winner of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences most prestigious award. Fans on social media and Oscar attendee’s were shocked in one of the most bizarre turn of events in the history of live television. And, while it sparked many playful jokes and viral internet memes, there is a sad reality to the entire situation. The rightful winner may never get its historical due.
The envelope mix up that led to screen legends Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway’s massive gaffe will forever overshadow Moonlight‘s Oscar victory. Not only that, there is a sadness that the cast and crew of Moonlight were essentially robbed of the initial jubilation of being labeled the year’s best film. Instead, they were relegated to an awkward exchange of statues on stage in front of worldwide audience.
There was a silver lining however. La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz, in a moment of humility and graciousness, personally handed the Oscar to Moonlight director Barry Jenkins. It was a saving grace in a moment of disbelief and shock. When several of the members of La La Land’s crew appeared to hastily storm off stage, Horowitz stayed composed and announced to the world Moonlight was the rightful winner of the award.
Still, as history as shown, anytime Moonlight is brought up, the masses will recognize its win as that one time they read the wrong winner. It doesn’t have to be like that though. Mistakes happen, blame will be placed on the appropriate parties and pity will be felt for everyone involved. But for the sake of the film, lets give it the credit it deserves. Don’t let Moonlight‘s historic victory get swept under the rug by a human error that was deeply regrettable by all parties involved.
We had our fun, we can still make jokes, but Moonlight was awarded as the years best film. Let the crew involved in the movie enjoy the achievement without reminding them of the unfortunate flub that transpired last night. Oh and if you haven’t seen Moonlight, do yourself a favor and see it.