Emma Stone: ‘I was holding my best actress card the whole time’

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“La La Land” producer Jordan Horowitz interrupts the Oscars telecast Sunday night to announce that “Moonlight,” not “La La Land” was the real winner for best picture. | ABC

As the gold dust was still settling over the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood following the mistake by presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway during the best picture Oscar announcement, some late developments:

UPDATE:  Just after midnight PST, the accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers (the company that for decades has tallied the Oscar votes), released a statement apologizing for the gaffe: “We sincerely apologize 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.”

Best actress Oscar-winner Emma Stone told reporters backstage at the Oscars telecast that “Of course it was an amazing thing to hear ‘La La Land.’ We would have loved to have won best picture. But we are so excited for ‘Moonlight.’ I think it’s one of the best films of all time. I was also holding my ‘best actress in a leading role’ card that entire time. So whatever story, I don’t mean to start stuff, but whatever story that was, I had that card.”

There are two sets of cards for every award, so there is the likelihood that Beatty and Dunaway were handed the wrong envelope. Host Jimmy Kimmel had come forward to inform the cast that “Moonlight” had indeed won, showing the inside of the envelope as proof. “I knew I would screw this up,” said Kimmel, a first-time host. (A closeup of the envelope Beatty was holding shows it is indeed labled “Actress in a Leading Role”)

— According to the L.A. Times, Beatty “explained that the reason it had taken him so long to read the card was because he was looking at something that said Emma Stone had won. At that point, he showed it to Dunaway, who announced “La La Land.” Beatty assured viewers that the error was unintentional and he wasn’t trying to turn the biggest award into a joke.”

It’s not the first time the wrong category winner was an issue at the Oscars. In 1964, Sammy Davis Jr. was handed an envelope for the wrong award, according to ABC News. “Representatives from Oscar’s counting unit at Price Waterhouse had to rush onstage to stop him from blurting out a mistake. He quipped, “Wait’ll the NAACP hears about this.”

When it came time to announce the best picture winner, Beatty seemed to be searching the envelope for a second card, and then stalling the announcement while glancing offstage perhaps to signal there was a problem.

Comedian/talk show host Steve Harvey, who famously announced the incorrect winner’s name  of the “Miss Universe” pageant in 2015, tweeted early Monday:

Contributing: Associated Press

Reactions from Hollywood on social media started pouring in almost immediately:

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