Moonlight won Best Picture at the 89th Academy Awards after the presenters incorrectly announced the winner as La La Land, the cast came onto the stage, and the producers made speeches. Then confusion and a bit of panic and finally, La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz took control of the mic and announced that, no, Moonlight was the winner.
Cue chaos. Cue Steve Harvey jokes. Cue conspiracy speculation.
Here's a play-by-play breakdown, courtesy of Slate:
Finally, last night, Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel used his monologue to explain his side of the story.
"I don't know if you know this, but I hosted the Oscars last night," he started. "Except for the end, it was a lot of fun." Kimmel threw in his share of jokes and tried to shift the blame away from any specific person (or presenter): "Whatever confusion there was about who won, Matt Damon lost."
"Clyde threw Bonnie under the bus," he said of the two presenters, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, who were chosen to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Bonnie and Clyde. It is hilarious that Beatty gave up trying to understand what was happening (he clearly knew something or everything was wrong) and handed the card to Dunaway for help. He was looking for verification but Dunaway made the announcement without catching any of his strange glances.
Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty
"You're impossible," she said to him when she thought he was stalling to build tension. But Peter Biskind, biographer of Warren Beatty, said that its just what you would expect from their relationship. He said that they didn't get along during the shooting of their famous film, and that "the fact that she kind of lost patience with him and basically grabbed the card and announced it is very much in keeping with their relationship." Was it a production mistake turned fiasco by the presenters' famously-strained relationship?
Or did M. Night Shyamalan write the ending, as he claimed in a tweet?
Based on his latest film, he might be a bit unjustified to claim such a shocking twist ending.
Probably the most surreal twist to this whole event would be proof of what the New Yorker's Adam Gopnik wrote about it: "that we are living in the Matrix, and something has gone wrong with the controllers."
Suddenly, Gopnik writes, recent events fall into a bizarre line: the shocking Presidential election, the unbelievable Super Bowl comeback, this weekend's Oscars mixup. Something has gone wrong with the simulation we call carbon-based life and existence in a collection of stars and planets known as the Universe.
NYU philosopher David Chalmers apparently originated the idea. Last year, Joshua Rothman cited a 2003 paper by the Oxford philosopher and futurologist Nick Bostrom as popularizing it. The theory says that humans (and, it follows, everything) are living in a computer simulation—think the Sims—that is controlled by an alien life form, a superior being. Our on, primitive versions of this include climate, economic and scientific models run by supercomputers.
The logic goes: there is still one real universe and beings in that universe have created numerous simulations. There are probably lots and lots of simulations, so the chances that we're living in one of those and not in the real universe are actually pretty high.
However, this "glitch" might be more than an accident. "There may be a Loki, a prankster, suddenly running it," Gopnik suggests. Was the Oscars mistake simply the latest example of malevolent behavior by an alien running experiments on us, its computer-generated subjects?
Kimmel's explanation seems a bit flimsy when faced with this possibility. Really? Two envelopes? A large team of professionals mixed up two envelopes after nearly one hundred years of not doing that?
My money's on the mad alien scientist.