February 27, 2017 12:21 pm
Updated: February 27, 2017 8:37 pm

5 most controversial things that happened at the 2017 Oscars, on top of #OscarsGate

It was a chaotic moment that swung between euphoria and confusion. In a stunning mix-up, “Moonlight,” winner of the Best Picture Oscar, briefly lost the spotlight to “La La Land.” As Eric Sorensen explains, it was a plot twist and a reversal of fortune that will live long in Hollywood lore.


The 89th Academy Awards hosted by Jimmy Kimmel will go down as a historic night for the annual ceremony – but perhaps for all the wrong reasons.

Thanks to an alleged envelope mix-up backstage, actors and Oscar presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced the wrong winner for the Best Picture category.

WATCH: Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced ‘La La Land’ as the Best Picture winner, when it was actually ‘Moonlight.

After reading the list of nominees, Beatty cracked open the envelope and paused. While the audience thought he was being comedic and building anticipation, that proved not to be the case.

The envelope allegedly read “Emma Stone: La La Land,” which confused Beatty enough to pass the envelope over to Dunaway, who then announced La La Land as the big winner.

WATCH: 5 times the wrong winners were announced on live TV

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But as the film’s producer Fred Berger was reading his thank-you speech, everyone – including Berger – knew something was up when a man with a headset came on stage with another red envelope in hand. That’s when Jordan Horowitz dropped the bomb.

“There’s been a mistake,” Horowitz said. “Moonlight, you guys won best picture. This is not a joke.”

However, confusion set in once Stone revealed to reporters backstage that she had already been given her Best Actress card when she accepted her award.

“I was also holding my ‘Best Actress in a leading role’ card that entire time,” she says. “So whatever story – I don’t mean to start stuff – but whatever story that was, I had that card.”

It was the moment that stole the spotlight, and cast a rather large shadow over the evening’s ceremony, even inspiring the trending hashtag on Twitter #OscarsGate.

READ MORE: How the Oscars’ Best Picture envelope mix-up unfolded

This wasn’t the first time the wrong winner was announced at the Oscars.

Sammy Davis Jr. also announced the wrong winner at the 36th Academy Awards in 1964. That was for Best Music Score. Davis Jr. announced the winner as John Addison for Tom Jones, when it was in fact André Previn for Irma La Douce.

But last night’s fumble was only the cherry on top of a night filled with controversies and hiccups.

Here are five other controversial moments of the night that got people talking.

WATCH BELOW: ‘Moonlight’ cast, celebs react to Best Picture mixup at the Oscars

1. ‘Hidden Fences’

Jess Cagle, the editor-in-chief of People, was on the red carpet talking about last year’s movies when he slipped up and said “hidden fences.”

“You just happen to have these extraordinary movies like ‘Hidden Fences’ and Moonlight,” Cagle said. He quickly realized his mistake, apologized and corrected himself.

Many people on social media are still recovering from when Michael Keaton and Jenna Bush Hager made the same mistake during NBC’s Golden Globes red carpet pre-show.

While speaking with Pharrell, Keaton mentioned his nomination for Hidden Figures, but awkwardly referred to the movie as “Hidden Fences” having clearly mixed it up with two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington’s hit drama Fences.

Fences and Hidden Figures were both Best Picture nominees and both feature African-Americans in lead roles, and that’s about as far as they go in similarity.

Some people even brought back the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag from last year’s awards. The hashtag was created to bring attention to all of the Oscars’ acting nominees being white, and saying the award have come to embody a diversity crisis in the entertainment industry.

WATCH BELOW: Barry Jenkins says Warren Beatty searched him out to show him Best Picture card

READ MORE: Oscars 2017: The best and worst of the red carpet

2. In Memoriam

The Oscar’s In Memoriam segment, which pays tribute to film industry figures who died over the past year, featured a wrong photo, according to Variety.

The photo was supposed to feature the late Australian costume designer Janet Patterson. The woman pictured was Jan Champman, an Australian producer who is very much alive.

Patterson, who died in October 2015, worked with Chapman on the 1993 film The Piano. 

“I was devastated by the use of my image in place of my great friend and longtime collaborator Janet Patterson,” Chapman told Variety in an email. “I had urged her agency to check any photograph which might be used and understand that they were told that the Academy had it covered. Janet was a great beauty and four-time Oscar nominee and it is very disappointing that the error was not picked up.”

“I am alive and well and an active producer,” Chapman added.

People on social media did not let this mistake go unnoticed.

3. The Lion King

Kimmel approached Sunny Pawar, who stars in the hit movie Lion, and after some back-and-forth banter about candy and the show, the host asked the eight-year-old boy if he had ever seen The Lion King.

Then Kimmel asked if they could recreate the moment from the movie when Rafiki lifts Simba up into the air while standing on Pride Rock.

Pawar got out of his chair and let Kimmel lift him up in front of the entire audience.

It was meant to be a cute joke, but Twitter points out that there are some racial undertones that shouldn’t be ignored.

WATCH BELOW: ‘La La Land’ producer calls handing Best Picture award to ‘Moonlight’ a ‘real honour’

READ MORE: Oscars 2017 winners list: ‘Moonlight’ wins Best Picture after bizarre gaffe, ‘La La Land’ takes home 6

4. Mel Gibson

Another thing some of the audience at home was not happy about was Mel Gibson’s presence at the ceremony and the amount of attention and praise he was receiving by his Academy peers.

Gibson’s movie Hackshaw Ridge (which he directed) was up for several awards including Best Picture, Actor in a Leading Role, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Directing. It won one award in the Film Editing category.

This, along with Kimmel’s throw to the actor and director several times throughout the night, did not sit well with people who remembered Gibson’s past racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic and misogynistic rhetoric.

In 2006, Gibson was accused of being a wife-beater, misogynist and anti-Semite and was thought to have been battling alcoholism.

One instance in particular in July of that year, Gibson was pulled over by a Jewish police officer in California where he reportedly said, “F**king Jews… the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world. Are you a Jew?”

5. Casey Affleck’s Oscar Win

Many people who tuned into the Oscars were not happy with Casey Affleck’s Best Actor Oscar win.

Their issue wasn’t with the actor’s performance, it was the fact that he was nominated at all.

In 2010, two women who worked on the set of Affleck’s experimental film titled, I’m Still Here, filed separate sexual harassment suits against him.

Activists, critics and actors like Constance Wu have argued that Affleck’s nomination and behaviour continue sexism in Hollywood.

Many have drawn attention to a long line of controversial men who have won Oscars. Roman Polanski fled the U.S. after he was arrested and pleaded guilty to the sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl and has won an Oscar since then.

Woody Allen has been accused of sexually abusing his adopted daughter but has been honoured by the Academy. Mel Gibson was nominated for Best Director Oscar for Hacksaw Ridge this year, despite the fact that he pleaded no contest to misdemeanour battery against his ex-girlfriend.

WATCH BELOW: Viola Davis speaks about growing up in poverty following Oscars win

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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