La La Land seemed to be heading toward a sweep of the top categories as the 89th annual Academy Awards wound down. After the musical’s leader, Damien Chazelle, picked up the trophy for Best Director, and Emma Stone, its star, nabbed the award for Best Actress, many thought the project–which paid homage to vintage Hollywood–was a lock for Best Picture.
The crowd waited with bated breath as Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced the winner–La La Land.
Though many were pulling for Moonlight, the indie film that explored Black masculinity through a gripping coming of age tale, it seemed like Academy votes had once again picked the safe choice.
La La Land’s producing team took the stage and had begun to accept the awards, doling out thanks to their supporters, when they noticed there was a problem–the film hadn’t actually won. It seems like Beatty and Dunaway had made a mistake and Moonlight was actually the rightful winner.
— Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) February 27, 2017
Talk about a plot twist!
As Moonlight’s team realized they were the real winners, they made their way to the stage where director Barry Jenkins told the audience, “Even in my dreams, this could not be true. But to hell with dreams, I’m done with it, because this is true.”
— Mashable (@mashable) February 27, 2017
Following the surprise ending, Twitter erupted with jubilation as Moonlight was crowned the best picture of the year.
Late in the Moonlight hour…God's gonna turn it around…
— African Dad (@AfricanDad) February 27, 2017
— LEFT🕋 (@LeftSentThis) February 27, 2017
WE REALLY CLOSING OUT BLACK HISTORY MONTH LIKE THIS pic.twitter.com/gL5NVHUPIW
— shereen (@delashereen) February 27, 2017
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) February 27, 2017
This was literally me when they announced La La Land and then Moonlight really won pic.twitter.com/9ztFCH8ZNG
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) February 27, 2017
— Rod Tidwell (@ChrisThomas266) February 27, 2017
For every black person whose had to watch white mediocrity be praised this feels like the ultimate win I'm screaming
— Zeba Blay (@zblay) February 27, 2017
— Nas (@ItsNasB) February 27, 2017
Samuel L. Jackson IS CRYING!!!!!!!! He knows how important this is to the culture! #OSCARS!
— Britni Danielle (@BritniDWrites) February 27, 2017
The cast of La La Land handing their awards over to Moonlight is reparations #Oscars
— ✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨ (@merelynora) February 27, 2017
I AM SO HAPPY FOR MOONLIGHT!!!! MY HEART IS BURSTING FOR MOONLIGHT!!
— Constance Wu (@ConstanceWu) February 27, 2017
Congratulations to the Moonlight team. It truly is a beautiful film. Well done
— John Legend (@johnlegend) February 27, 2017
YAY MOONLIGHT. So elegant and moving and passionate and tender.
— roxane gay (@rgay) February 27, 2017
Congrats to Barry Jenkins and the Moonlight team for winning film’s top award!