“La La Land” producer Jordan Horowitz isn’t angry about the Oscar flub seen ’round the world. He isn’t expecting an apology from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
In fact, Horowitz is downright sanguine about the screw-up. In an interview with CNN, he praised the actual winner, “Moonlight,” and said, “I don’t want this to take away from them at all.”
He also cracked a couple of jokes.
“Hey, I won the Oscar for best picture. I got to thank my wife and kids. And then I got to present the Oscar for best picture! Not many people can say that,” Horowitz said by phone Monday morning after an all-nighter of celebrating.
Horowitz’s film won six other Academy Awards on Sunday night. He and his colleagues were called up to the stage for a seventh award, best picture, and he was the first person to speak.
“There’s a lot of love in this room, and let’s use it to create and champion bold and diverse work — work that inspires us towards joy, towards hope and towards empathy,” Horowitz said.
His colleague Marc Platt spoke next. That’s when Horowitz noticed a commotion on the stage around him.
“I don’t even know entirely what happened,” he told CNN nine hours later. “But life throws you a curveball sometimes.”
Horowitz recalled seeing an envelope and card that showed “La La Land” star Emma Stone winning the best actress award. But she had already accepted that award.
“People started saying, ‘Where’s the best picture card?'” he said. “There was confusion on stage.”
He saw the actual card announcing the best picture winner — “Moonlight” — and stepped back to the mic, in front of a TV audience watching around the world.
“You guys, I’m sorry, no. There’s a mistake,” he said. “‘Moonlight,’ you guys won best picture.”
Horowitz repeatedly said, “This is not a joke.” He was lauded on social media for his earnestness and graciousness — trying to right a wrong as quickly as possible.
“I’m going to be really proud to hand this to my friends from ‘Moonlight,'” he said as the producers and stars of the competing film walked up to the stage.
Horowitz and his colleagues had been on the awards show circuit with the “Moonlight” producers for months, sometimes crossing paths and exchanging pleasantries.
Asked whether he feels like he’s essentially sharing the best picture prize because of the mix-up, Horowitz said, “No, this award belongs entirely to ‘Moonlight.’ I don’t want this to take away from them at all.”
“It’s a beautiful film made by some beautiful people,” he added.
He acknowledged that the situation was “terrible” and “weird,” but he said the “La La Land” and “Moonlight” teams talked about it after the awards show. The word that comes to mind, he said, is “surreal.”
Barry Jenkins, the director of “Moonlight,” tweeted about Horowitz overnight, saying, “Wow. I’m slipping slowly into reflection, perspective. Much respect to that dude.”
And Horowitz replied to him with a heart emoji, saying, “Thank you, Barry. Congratulations and much love. ❤”