Denzel Washington helped Barry Jenkins get his Oscars speech after the Best Picture mess

Also, John Legend thought it was a tie.

February 26, 2018
Denzel Washington helped Barry Jenkins get his Oscars speech after the Best Picture mess Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The Hollywood Reporter published a lengthy oral history of last year's Oscars fiasco, in which Warren Beatty mistakenly announced La La Land as Best Picture when Moonlight won. The piece, which spans from a few days before the ceremony to the aftermath's many memes and consequences, includes a host of new details, like the fact that John Legend thought briefly that the movies were somehow tied, and that Busy Phillipps bought a copy of a photo showing the stunned La La Land cast for both her and her best friend Michelle Williams. It also turns out that Denzel Washington managed to help smooth things out, directing host Jimmy Kimmel while still seated.

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"Denzel Washington did a little bit of traffic-cop work from the audience," Kimmel explains. "I think he looked at me and pointed at Barry, motioning for us to let Barry speak, and I thought, 'Oh, yes, he's right. That should happen.'"

Moonlight's Mahershala Ali also notes that the mix-up took away a lot of the glory of the win, saying "It never quite felt like we won, even though we won, in part because we were so connected with the La La Land people. In that moment, I don't think we could be as joyous. It wasn't what it should have been."

Still, the bulk of the history focuses on the perpetuators of the incident, which Steve Harvey, who famously mixed up the winners of the Miss Universe pageant in 2015, insists that it could have been worse.

"Oh nah, the dude at Pricewaterhouse — he ain't endured nothing," he told the magazine. "See, the mistake I made was against a country named Colombia. They have some people down there — they are in a different business — so when you get threats, you gotta take it a little bit differently."

Read the full article here.

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Denzel Washington helped Barry Jenkins get his Oscars speech after the Best Picture mess