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The monumental mix-up occurred when Beatty was given the wrong envelope while presenting the final award of the night, leading co-presenter Faye Dunaway to announce the incorrect winner.
“I think we’re all processing the horror of it. I’m still dealing with it,” MacLaine, who was watching from the audience after presenting, told USA Today. “I’m concerned with how he must have felt, being so close to him. I’m three years older and I’m protective.”
Though accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has taken full responsibility for the error — during which the producers of La La Land stopped their acceptance speeches to correct the error and congratulate the rightful winners of Moonlight — Beatty has asked for Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs “to publicly clarify what happened as soon as possible,” he said in a statement.
Even more so, as a chance for redemption, MacLaine suggested that it would be “wonderful” if Beatty could present next year’s best picture award.
MacLaine called Beatty “immediately” after the show, but since he was still backstage, she called his wife, Annette Bening. She only stopped by the post-show Governors Ball briefly: “I just wanted to go home. It’s something to really think about: What if it happened to you?”
She did share a takeaway from the entire fiasco: “The one thing you learned about what occurred at the Oscars is that every instant of life is important. And anything like that can happen to you, driving in a car, leading a seminar, working at your desk and presenting an award.”
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