Warren Beatty has called on Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs to publicly explain the chain of events that led to Sunday night’s shocking Oscars mix-up.
“Rather than for me to respond to questions from the press about the Academy ceremony, I feel it would be more appropriate for the president of the Academy, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, to publicly clarify what happened as soon as possible,” Beatty said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly.
During Sunday’s 89th Academy Awards ceremony, Beatty’s co-presenter, Faye Dunaway, announced La La Land as best picture instead of Moonlight, which was the actual winner. Beatty and Dunaway had been handed the wrong envelope by PricewaterhouseCoopers accountant Brian Cullinan before walking out on stage. Instead of reading from the best picture envelope, Beatty and Dunaway opened the “backup” envelope for best actress, which was awarded to La La Land star Emma Stone. Beatty said he was confused by the card and handed it to Dunaway, who erroneously announced La La Land as the winner.
After the error was revealed, Beatty told the Oscars audience, “I want to tell you what happened. I opened the envelope, and it said ‘Emma Stone, La La Land.’ That’s why I took such a long look at Faye and at you. I wasn’t trying to be funny.”
Boone Isaacs told The New Yorker that she was horrified by the fiasco as it played out on stage. “I just thought, What? What?” she told the magazine. “I looked out and I saw a member of [accounting firm] Pricewaterhouse coming on the stage, and I was, like, Oh, no, what—what’s happening? What what WHAT? What could possibly . . . ? And then I just thought, Oh, my God, how does this happen? How. Does. This. Happen. And it was such a wonderful show.”
PricewaterhouseCoopers, which is in charge of tabulating the Oscar votes, issued multiple statements apologizing for the gaffe, writing in part, “We sincerely apologize to Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Jimmy Kimmel, ABC, and the Academy, none of whom was at fault for last night’s errors. We wish to extend our deepest gratitude to each of them for the graciousness they displayed during such a difficult moment.”
The Academy also issued a statement late Monday night apologizing for the mix-up: “To all involved — including our presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, the filmmakers, and our fans watching worldwide — we apologize.”