Creative Arts Emmys: Oscars Director Says Best Picture Envelope Mix-Up "Could Have Been a Lot Worse"

"I learned that it might be the wrong envelope 15 seconds before you did."
Kevin Winter/Getty
The 89th Annual Academy Awards

Accepting the Emmy for his direction of this year's Oscars ceremony on Saturday, Glenn Weiss saluted the crew for their professional handling of the envelope mix-up, when La La Land, rather than Moonlight, was initially announced as the winner of the Oscar for best picture.

"If you watched the Oscars all the way until the end, something happened that we didn't plan ... but we were on live TV," he said onstage, adding that the "most important" element of the success of the live show was "hiring the best goddamn crew in the business. My hat's off to everyone who was in the Dolby Theatre that night."

Backstage, Weiss elaborated on the experience, saying, "I learned that it may be the wrong envelope 15 seconds before you did. ... Then it was control damage, and showing the world [what was happening]. It could have been a lot worse — at least it was discovered before the broadcast ended.

"It was really important to make sure we captured what happened and not make it worse [by] covering it up," he added.