How 'Moonlight's' shocking win ricocheted across Twitter.

The end of the 89th Academy Awards was one for the ages — and that's an understatement.

"Moonlight" writer-director Barry Jenkins accepts the Academy Award for Best Picture. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

"Moonlight's" stunning upset victory over early frontrunner "La La Land" was made even more shocking by the fact that presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway initially awarded the Best Picture trophy to the wrong film. Thinking they'd won, "La La Land's" producers delivered their entire acceptance speeches — only to hand the award off when they realized what had happened.


In many ways, this moment was exactly what Twitter was built for.

The mix-up unleashed a tidal wave of snark, followed by chaos, followed by jubilation — all playing out in real time.

Initially, supporters of "Moonlight" — who were stung that a groundbreaking black queer coming-of-age story would likely be shut out by a conventional Hollywood romance — prepared themselves for disappointment.

Starting with a win for Best Production Design, it seemed like "La La Land" was poised for a clean sweep of the night's biggest awards.

Tweeters of color in particular — including some of the most prominent voices on black Twitter — were less than pleased, especially when "La La Land" appeared to have claimed the night's top prize.

Then it happened. "La La Land" producer Jordan Horowitz stepped up to the mic and announced the mistake. "Moonlight" had actually won.

At first, it seemed like it might be a terrible prank.

But pretty quickly, it became clear Horowitz wasn't kidding. All hell broke loose.

News organizations had to adjust their breaking news alerts.

Shock and disbelief reverberated across social media.

When the confusion died down, it became clear the seemingly impossible had happened.

"Moonlight" had won Best Picture. For real.

And the celebration began.

The shocking upset victory was hailed as a long-overdue win for marginalized groups of artists...

...and for moviegoers who have waited just as long to see themselves on screen.

Many saw a deeper symbolism in the chaos and confusion.

Others praised the "La La Land" team for reacting to an enormously difficult moment with grace.

Most, however, were simply thrilled.

This victory for "Moonlight" may or may not represent a sea change in the way the Oscars does business.

Time will tell whether the Academy is truly committed to rewarding greater diversity in film. And "La La Land" deserves all the awards it won and critical recognition it's received.

But last night, a small, gorgeous, unsparing, nuanced movie about the life of a gay black kid in Miami, written and directed by artists of color, took home the top prize. What's more? It deserved it.

Now, more than ever, that matters.

Most Shared

Abigail Disney is the granddaughter of the late Roy Disney, the co-founder of the Walt Disney Co. Abigail herself does not have a job within the company, but she has made some public complaints about the way things are being run and how it is effecting the employees of the company.

Disney recently spoke on the Yahoo News show "Through Her Eyes," and shared a story of how a Magic Kingdom employee reached out to her about the poor working conditions at the theme park. So, Disney went to see for herself, and she did not like what she found.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Wellington District Police

Some animals have no respect for authority. Rogue penguins are disobeying the police in New Zealand, and they can't stop, won't stop.

Two little blue penguins were spotted at Sushi Bi near the Wellington railway station, allegedly trying to nest. The penguins had to cross through busy lanes of traffic running between the harbor and the sushi bar.

The dangerous duo was detained by the police, then released back into Wellington Harbour.

Keep Reading Show less
Nature

Netflix

How much of what we do is influenced by what we see on TV? When it comes to risky behavior, Netflix isn't taking any chances.

After receiving a lot of heat, the streaming platform is finally removing a controversial scenedepicting teen suicide in season one of "13 Reasons Why. The decision comes two years after the show's release after statistics reveal an uptick in teen suicide.

"As we prepare to launch season three later this summer, we've been mindful about the ongoing debate around the show. So on the advice of medical experts, including Dr. Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, we've decided with creator Brian Yorkey and the producers to edit the scene in which Hannah takes her own life from season one," Netflix said in a statement, per The Hollywood Reporter.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture
Magnific Eye / Unsplash

Los Angeles is experiencing a homeless epidemic that was years in the making.

Over the past six years, the unhoused population in the city has risen 75 percent. The city's lack of homeless shelters and affordable housing has forced many who can't afford L.A.'s sky-high rents to live on the streets.

According to LAist, since 2000, renter incomes have decreased by 3 percent while rents have gone up 32 percent.

While the city has launched a $100 million-per-year program to help the problem, rapper, entrepreneur, and actor Jaden Smith has found his own way of responding to the crisis: love.

Keep Reading Show less
Communities