Viewers Stunned by Oscars Best Picture Flub

“You saw the moment where his face was like ‘wait, this can’t be right.’”


The 2017 Oscars had an unusual climax, as La La Land was incorrectly announced as the winner of Best Picture. Amidst celebration on stage, one of the movie’s producers, Jordan Horowitz, announced that there had been a mistake: Moonlight was in fact the winner.

Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson sat down with WDET Marketing Manager Candice Fortman to debrief about the Oscars flub. 

“As you watched the producers of La La Land, someone had already thanked their mother by the time that any of this had recovered,” recalls Fortman. “It was a big moment for those folks.”

This is the type of mistake that most fear at work, Henderson says; you reach the moment of truth and realize that you have the wrong answer, and now you have to clean it up. The award-show flub hearkened back to Steve Harvey’s 2015 announcement of the wrong Miss Universe winner. But Fortman says this was a little different. Apparently, the announcers were given an incorrect envelope.

“You saw the moment where [Warren Beatty’s] face was like ‘wait this can’t be right.’”

Announcer Faye Dunaway read “La La Land” anyway, but what else could she have done?

“It’s one of those things where everyone is a Monday morning quarterback,” says Fortman. “We can all say that if we were on that stage we would have done something differently. But the bottom line is they were on a live telecast… It’s the biggest night in Hollywood, you’re nervous… and you don’t assume this will happen.”

And now, the fallout is national attention to the Oscars mistake. Still, Fortman hopes this won’t be the only reaction.

“Hopefully, it puts more eyes on this film,” says Fortman, adding that she’s never seen anything quite like Moonlight before.

“If you haven’t seen this film, go see it now.”

To hear more of the conversation on Detroit Today, click on the audio player above.


  • Detroit Today
    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.