Oscars: Australians caught up in a second Academy blunder

La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz holds up the winning envelope with 'Moonlight' as Best Picture.

La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz holds up the winning envelope with 'Moonlight' as Best Picture. Photo: Getty

The Academy Awards have sparked outrage over another embarrassing mistake, honouring the late Australian costume designer Janet Patterson with a photo of a different Australian woman.

During the in memoriam section of the award show honouring members of the film industry who have died, the Academy mistakenly showed a photo of Australian producer Jan Chapman instead of four-time Oscar nominee Patterson who passed away in October.

It was the second embarrassing blunder to emerge from the 89th Academy Awards as the fall out from the best picture mix-up continues.

Australian producer Jan Chapman was devastated by the mix-up.

Australian producer Jan Chapman was devastated by the mix-up. Photo: AP

Chapman, a close friend of Patterson’s, was horrified by the in memoriam bungle.

“I was devastated by the use of my image in place of my great friend and long-time collaborator Janet Patterson,” Chapman, who worked with Patterson on films including The Piano, Bright Star and Holy Smoke, told Variety.

“I had urged her agency to check any photograph which might be used and understand that they were told that the Academy had it covered.

“Janet was a great beauty and four-time Oscar nominee and it is very disappointing that the error was not picked up.”

PwC apology

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal and have reported that one of the PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants responsible for handing out the sealed envelopes had posted a backstage photo of actress Emma Stone on Twitter minutes before the mix-up.

The photo, from the Twitter account of Brian Cullinan — who handed the envelope to Warren Beatty — was later deleted but was still viewable on Monday on a cached archive of the page.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accountancy firm responsible for counting the ballots at the awards, has apologised over the blunder that led to the wrong film being named best picture.

At Monday’s Oscars, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were set to present the Best Picture award but were instead handed the envelope for Emma Stone’s best actress win for the film La La Land. 

As a result, Dunaway then incorrectly announced the winner of Best Picture as La La Land rather than the actual winner, Moonlight.

“We sincerely apologise 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,” PricewaterhouseCoopers said in a statement.

“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.

“We appreciate the grace with which the nominees, the Academy, ABC, and Jimmy Kimmel handled the situation.

The error resulted in a dramatic conclusion to the 89th Academy Awards, with the La La Land crew mid-speech before the mistake was realised.

La La Land  producer Jordan Horowitz then told the shocked audience: “There’s a mistake. Moonlight, you guys won best picture.”

Beatty explained the mistake, saying he wasn’t “trying to be funny”.

“I want to tell you what happened. I opened the envelope and it said Emma Stone, La La Land. That’s why I took such a long look at Faye and at you. I wasn’t trying to be funny.”

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