The stunned faces of Hollywood's biggest superstars are caught on camera as they witness the worst blunder in Oscars history
The Hollywood A-listers seated in the front row of Sunday night's Academy Awards were just as stunned as viewers at home when it was revealed that the Best Picture award had accidentally been given to the makers of La La Land.
A photo has surfaced showing the stunned faces of Matt Damon, Meryl Streep, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and many others as one of La La Land's producers revealed that the real winner was actually Moonlight.
Announcers Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway had accidentally been given the wrong envelope by accountants with PriceWaterHouseCoopers, who tabulate the Academy's voting
The photo captures shock among the A-listers seated in the front row for the award show. Meryl Streep gaped towards the stage, while The Rock, seated behind her, looked equally confused. Sitting another row back was the Academy's president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who seemed just as out of the loop.
Ben Affleck's first reaction was to look down the row towards his little brother Casey, who won the Best Actor award, and childhood friend Matt Damon. Casey Affleck speaks with the woman next to him while Damon sits slack-jawed - completely stunned at what just happened.
Just a few moments before, another photo showed Jimmy Kimmel sitting in the seat vacated by Damon's wife. Soon after, he got up to help sort things out as the evening's host.
Other photos from the night show the celebration elsewhere in the Dolby Theatre when it was announced that Moonlight had won.
A slightly earlier picture shows host Jimmy Kimmel sitting in the seat vacated by Damon's wife. He quickly got out to help sort out the confusion when one of La La Land's producers said that Moonlight had in fact won
The cast was seated further back in the theater and jumped to their feet when they heard the good news.
PriceWaterHouseCoopers issued a statement after the mix-up taking full responsibility.
'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,' their statement reads. '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.'
Elsewhere in the Dolby Theater, the cast of Moonlight got up and started celebrating after learning they were the real winners
Announcers Warren Beatty (center) and Faye Dunaway were given the wrong card, causing the mix-up. La La Land's producers were informed on stage as they were giving their acceptance speeches. Producer Jordan Horowitz, left, eventually spoke up and revealed that Moonlight was the real winner
Moonlight producer Adele Romanski (center) accepts the Oscar with the rest of the cast on stage at the Academy Awards Sunday night
In a heart-stopping moment, the stars and producers of La La Land were stopped midway through their acceptance speeches and forced to hand their trophies to the stars of Moonlight after their film was announced as Best Picture in one of the biggest blunders in Oscar history.
Accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers's Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz were in charge of this year's top-secret Academy Awards results. They're posed together above with the two sets of envelopes, which are carried in briefcases
The terrible end to an otherwise triumphant show left the audience gasping in horror as Beatty revealed he had incorrectly read La La Land as the winner.
As the La La Land cast were walking on stage to accept the accolade, a stagehand standing in the wings could be heard saying 'Oh ... Oh my god, he got the wrong envelope' and walking back and forth, according to the LA Times .
While still on stage, Beatty blamed the epic mishap on being given the wrong envelope, saying he had seen the name Emma Stone from 'La La Land' when he opened his envelope.
'I want to tell you what happened I opened the envelope and it said Emma Stone, La La Land and that is why I took such a long look at Faye and at you. I wasn't trying to be funny. This is Moonlight for best picture,' Beatty told the shocked crowd as he explained the blunder.
An investigation is continuing into how La La Land was wrongly named Best Picture rather than the triumphant Moonlight.
Only two people know the Oscars winners list and supervise the counting procedures - PwC tax adviser Martha Ruiz and Brian Cullinan an accountant who is the chairman of PwC's US board.
Just days before the showcase event, they told the Huffington Post that they were unsure of the exact procedure in the event that the wrong actor or film was named as a winner in any given category since such a mistake had never been made in the awards' 88-year history.
Cullinan and Ruiz each carry a suitcase containing a copy of the winning envelope for all the categories - meaning there are two envelopes for each award.
The pair stand on opposite sides backstage and memorize the winners to avoid having to write them down and have revealed in the past how they carry out rigorous checks to ensure they have stuffed the envelopes correctly.
It is believed Ruiz and Cullinan are ordered to destroy the duplicate cards as the presentation goes on, so by the time Best Picture is awarded, the only envelopes left are the two for Best Picture, according to Free Press .
When Beatty and Dunaway took the stage to announce the Best Picture award, Cullinan and Ruiz realized that they still had two best picture envelopes, meaning that the envelope taken on stage was a duplicate for an award that had already been announced.
It is unknown why there was still a Best Actress duplicate available when Beatty walked on stage.
Executives from PwC immediately realized there was a problem, but they were too late to rectify the mistake as Dunaway read out the name La La Land from a card that was meant to be for the Best Actress award, which Emma Stone won for her role in the film earlier in the night.
After the officials realized what had happened, they tried to get on stage immediately. But the news was broken to the La La Land cast and crew after they had started their acceptance speeches.
La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz returned to the microphone after being told about the mix up and said 'Moonlight won Best Picture' and insisting that 'this is not a joke'.
Just seconds before, confusion was etched across Beatty's face after he opened the envelope. He took a second glance inside the winner's envelope before showing it to Dunaway who mistakenly thought he was asking her to read out La La Land.
Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty walk on stage to present the award for Best Picture. The pair's appearance at the show is meant to be a triumphant reunion to mark the 50th anniversary of 1967's Bonnie And Clyde
Beatty opens the envelope, sees the words 'Emma Stone from La La Land' and confusion spreads across his face. He looks to Dunaway, who reads out 'La La Land' as the Best Picture winner
La La Land producers Jordan Horowitz and Fred Berger (left) arrive on stage to accept the award from Dunaway and Beatty as the cast and crew follow suit
La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz accepts the award and and thanks his cast and crew after being announced Best Picture
Suddenly, a backstage official with a headset rushes on to the stage to correct the mishap. He arrives with a new envelope, with the correct details inside. He came on stage after executives from PwC, who tally the Oscar results, realized there was a problem when Dunaway read out the name La La Land
A shocked Horowitz and Jimmy Kimmel react as Beatty reveals the correct winner to him midway through his acceptance speech. It has since emerged that there are duplicate envelopes for every category and Beatty was given the Best Actress duplicate envelope by mistake
Horowitz presents the envelope reading 'Moonlight' as the winner as he calls up the producers of the film to graciously pass over his statue
La La Land's Horowitz invites the Moonlight cast and crew on stage as Beatty explains that he had received the wrong results envelope from officials
Beatty tells the crowd that the card he received had Emma Stone's name in it, because it was a card for Best Actress instead of Best Picture
Beatty explains how he read the incorrect card to the crowd as shocked cast and crew from La La Land and Moonlight stand behind him
Horowitz embraces Jenkins on stage and hands over his Oscar after the revelation that it belonged to the Moonlight director
Writer and director of Moonlight, Barry Jenkins, holds his Oscar and speaks to the crowd after being awarded the Best Picture Academy Award
Beatty and Dunaway arrive at an Academy Awards after party following the chaotic ceremony. Beatty brought the Best Actress card to the party with him following the mishap
When Jenkins finally receives his Oscar, the director has the trophy engraved backstage, a tradition that follows each presentation
'It's one of the strangest things that's ever happened to me,' Beatty said backstage. 'Thank God there were two of us up there,' Dunaway responded.
The actress then asked Beatty, 'Who else should I tell?'
'Everybody,' he said.
At that point, a security guard tried to take the real envelope and Beatty said, 'Security is not getting this. I'm giving it to (Moonlight director) Barry Jenkins at a later time.' Beatty also refused to show it to anyone else.
ABC News, tweeting about the ceremony broadcast on its network, said the envelope held by Beatty read, 'Actress in a leading role.' A close-up photo of Beatty onstage verified that.
PwC has counted votes and provides winner envelopes for the Oscars and has done so for more than 80 years.
This is the first time in Oscar history that the wrong envelope had been opened while an award was being announced.
Host Jimmy Kimmel came forward to inform the cast that Moonlight had indeed won, showing the inside of the envelope as proof.
La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz immediately called up the producers of Moonlight and graciously passed his statue over.
Warren Beatty was forced to explain the mishap as the cast of La La Land handed over their Oscars to the producers of Moonlight on stage
'I knew I would screw this up,' Kimmel, a first-time host, joked. 'I promise to never come back.'
Beatty's son, Stephen Ira, was quick to defend his father by tweeting: 'Proud of my dad for his grace! It's live, stuff happens. Showbiz!'
Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said Academy officials met with PriceWaterhouseCooper to figure out exactly what had happened when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were given a duplicate envelope containing Emma Stone's best actress win.
Moonlight's director Barry Jenkins told the crowd: 'Very clearly even in my dreams this can't be true. But to hell with it because this is true. It's true, it's not fake.'
Even though it wasn't strictly speaking Beatty's fault, he exited the Dolby Theatre through a back exit to avoid press.
He later told the Daily Mail the reason he paused for so long was because he knew there was a problem.
'People thought I was being dramatic but I wasn't . There was something wrong . I showed it to Faye and she said La La Land,' Beatty said.
The Moonlight director Jenkins said backstage: 'I noticed the commotion that was happening and I thought that something strange had occurred.
'The last 20 minutes of my life have been insane.'
He added: 'It made a very special feeling even more special, but not in the way I expected.'
He told reporters he had not been given a formal explanation but he understood that mistakes happen.
'I will say, I saw two cards, and so things just happen,' Jenkins said. 'I wanted to see the card... and Warren refused to show the card to anybody before he showed it to me. And so he did. He came upstairs and he walked over to me, and he showed the card.
'Everyone was asking, 'Can I see the card?' And he was like, 'No, Barry Jenkins has to see the card, I need him to know'. And I felt better about what had happened.'
He said that cast and crew of La La Land were 'so gracious' during the mayhem.
'I can't imagine being in their position and having to do that,' he said.
Meanwhile, Emma Stone, with her Best Actress Oscar in hand, told reporters she was 'distraught ' over the best picture screw up.
'Wow - Its horrible,' she said of the monumental flap over the wrong film being announced as best picture.
'I f***ing love Moonlight. God, I love Moonlight so much, I'm so excited for Moonlight, and umm, of course it was an amazing thing to hear La La Land.
'I think we all would’ve loved to win Best Picture. But we are so excited for Moonlight, I think it’s one of the best films of all time.
'So I was pretty beside myself. I also was 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 my card.'
The star of La La Land also said she wasn't aware until later that there were duplicate envelopes for every Oscar category.
'I didn't know until now that they have two of everything,' she said.
Moonlight star Mahershala Ali also spoke about the mix-up, saying he was concerned about what was happening with staffers began rushing the stage during La La Land's short-lived acceptance speeches.
'When I did see security come out on stage and their moment was being disrupted in some way I got really worried,' he told USA Today .
'It's hard to feel joy in a moment like that, in front of them.But I feel fortunate for us to have walked away with the best picture award.'