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Oscars 2017 updates: What really happened backstage at the Academy Awards

The day after Oscar’s craziest, shocking moment ever, questions still linger about why “La La Land” was announced best picture when “Moonlight” was the true winner.

L.A. Times’ film critic Justin Chang comes to the conclusion that the two movies’ fortunes were inextricable and the you-couldn’t-have-scripted-it finale oddly enough made sense.

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Matt Damon and Ben Affleck at the Oscars: A bromance for the ages

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

What can be more special than attending the Oscars? Attending the Oscars with your best friend, if these images of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are anything to go by.

Affleck and Damon have been attending the Academy Awards on and off since they both won original screenplay for “Good Will Hunting” back in 1997.

And at the 89th Academy Awards Affleck and Damon were together, yet again, and their friendship was captured backstage, in the crowd and all over the Oscar show.

The duo showcased their chemistry when they took to the stage to present the award for directing.

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Even younger brother, and now Oscar winner, Casey Affleck was brought into the Matt and Ben embrace.

(Chris Pizzello / Invision / Associated Press )

Really, this side hug speaks for itself.

(Chris Pizzello / Invision / Associated Press)

Then there was the big “Moonlight” surprise.

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Let’s hear it for friendship everyone.

(Matt Sayles / Invision / Associated Press)

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Compare the fashion sketches behind your favorite Oscar gowns to the red carpet reality

The best picture gaffe may have dropped jaws inside the Dolby Theatre on Sunday, but before the show, these are the dresses that turned heads on the red carpet.

Stylist Petra Flannery Instagrammed this concept illustration of the beaded Givenchy Haute Couture gown “La La Land” star Emma Stone accepted her lead actress award in. The hand-embroidered gown reportedly took 1,700 hours to make.

(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Another of the night’s standout looks was this custom-made blue velvet Alberta Ferretti number worn by “Hidden Figures” star Taraji P. Henson.

(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Check out our collection of fashion looks and their real life counterparts here.

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Warren Beatty calls on motion picture academy president to ‘publicly clarify’ Oscar snafu

(Chris Pizzello / Invision / Associated Press)

Two days after the Oscars, still facing questions about the best picture snafu in which he unwittingly found himself embroiled, Warren Beatty called on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to “publicly clarify” what exactly happened.

In a statement released Tuesday to the Associated Press, the actor declined to comment further on the fumble in which he and fellow presenter Faye Dunaway mistakenly named “La La Land” the best picture winner rather than “Moonlight.”

“I feel it would be more appropriate for the president of the Academy, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, to publicly clarify what happened as soon as possible,” Beatty said.

Beatty’s statement follows one issued Monday by the academy, apologizing for the mistake and saying that PricewaterhouseCoopers – the accounting firm that handles the Oscar envelopes – has “taken full responsibility for the breaches of established protocols that took place during the ceremony.”

Indeed, just hours after the ceremony, PricewaterhouseCoopers issued its own statement apologizing for the fact that “the presenters had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope.”

Since then, The Times and other outlets have reported extensively – if not exhaustively – on the events that led to the Oscars gaffe.

The academy did not immediately respond to The Times on Tuesday to weigh in on Beatty’s statement.

Boone Isaacs has not yet commented publicly in any detail about the best picture bungle. But speaking with the New Yorker at the Governors Ball shortly after the show ended, she seemed as mystified as everyone else.

“I just thought, Oh, my God, how does this happen?” Boone Isaacs said. “How. Does. This. Happen.”

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Backstage peek: Ashton Sanders and Jharrel Jerome embrace backstage after ‘Moonlight’s’ best picture win

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Very few media outlets get backstage positions for their photographers at the Academy Awards, but the L.A. Times has enjoyed such access for many years now. Here, you’ll get a peek at actors, actresses and filmmakers as they let their guards down, like Ashton Sanders, above left, and Jharrel Jerome embrace after “Moonlight” was (eventually) named best picture.

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

PricewaterhouseCoopers managing partner Brian Cullinan, above right, was one of only two people responsible for handing presenters the correct envelopes. It was Cullinan who gave Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway the incorrect envelope for best picture.

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Hello, you two! Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux head to the stage.

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

“Moana’s” Auli’i Cravalho, who performed “How Far I’ll Go” during the show, is all smiles backstage.

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Mahershala Ali and Ryan Gosling share a moment after “Moonlight” was named the Oscar winner for best picture.

We’ve also compiled a gallery focused on the historic, crazy best picture debacle.

SEE MORE PHOTOS FROM BACKSTAGE HERE >>

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After the Oscars, Calvin Klein celebrates ‘Moonlight’ cast in new men’s ad campaign

Calvin Klein's spring 2017 men’s underwear campaign features "Moonlight" actor Trevante Rhodes wearing a cotton stretch hip brief.
(Calvin Klein)

Turn your attention away from the best-picture envelope mishap at the Oscars on Sunday and check out the new black-and-white men’s underwear campaign from Calvin Klein, celebrating the Academy Award-winning “Moonlight.”

The ads are already causing a commotion on the Internet, leaving many to possibly swoon after seeing photos of Oscar winner (and shirtless Calvin Klein model) Mahershala Ali and Trevante Rhodes (wearing briefs).

Calvin Klein's spring 2017 men’s underwear campaign features "Moonlight" actor Ashton Sanders wearing a cotton stretch boxer brief.
(Calvin Klein)
Calvin Klein's spring 2017 men’s underwear campaign features Oscar-winning "Moonlight" actor Mahershala Ali donning the 100% cotton crew neck T-shirt.
(Calvin Klein)

Calvin Klein’s new spring 2017 underwear campaign, honoring the actors of “Moonlight,” the first LGBTQ film to win best picture at the Academy Awards, will run as print advertisements and appear on billboards. The campaign could broaden visibility and appeal for the indie movie, which was made on a shoestring budget.

In a post-Oscars move, Calvin Klein unveiled the underwear campaign Monday. In the photos, the older actors of “Moonlight” are dressed in what appear to be dark T-shirts and pants as well as in underwear.

The campaign shows Ali as well as actors Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders and Rhodes (the latter smiling and posing in black briefs in a club chair).

Calvin Klein's spring 2017 men’s underwear campaign features "Moonlight" actor Ashton Sanders in a cotton stretch boxer brief.
(Calvin Klein)
Calvin Klein's spring 2017 men’s underwear campaign features "Moonlight" actor Alex Hibbert wearing a 100% cotton crew neck T-shirt.
(Calvin Klein)

On a side note, the fashion label dressed four “Moonlight” cast members — Naomie Harris in a white strapless sequin dress; and Rhodes, Sanders and Hibbert (who played lead character Chiron at different ages) in tuxedos — for the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday.

In a news release Monday, Raf Simons, Calvin Klein’s new chief creative officer, called the underwear campaign an “acknowledgement of remarkable actors who are revealing something important of being a man today in what they do.”

For decades, Calvin Klein has been known for its provocative advertisements and assortment of underwear models with Hollywood ties, including Mark Wahlberg, Djimon Hounsou, Justin Bieber, Mehcad Brooks, Kellan Lutz and Antonio Sabato Jr.

According to the news release from Calvin Klein, the new campaign with the “Moonlight” actors was shot by photographer Willy Vanderperre and styled by Olivier Rizzo.

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Brie Larson and Emma Stone’s Oscars hug shows us that friendship is magic

( Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

When Emma Stone won the Academy Award for actress in a leading role, Brie Larson was among the first people to congratulate the “La La Land” star in person.

“You know what’s better than winning? Watching your friends win,” said Larson on Twitter and Instagram of the emotional moment above.

As the many different angles shot of this heartfelt scene made the rounds, many fans commented that the tearful hug was among the highlights of the 2017 Oscars. Friendship is beautiful.

Brie Larson congratulates Emma Stone on her best actress win at the 89th Academy Awards.
( Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

You can also watch a video of the hug seen ‘round the world below.

SEE MORE PHOTOS FROM BEHIND THE SCENES >>

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Days before schmoozing at the Oscars, ‘Gary From Chicago’ got out of prison

Vickie Vines, Denzel Washington and Gary Alan Coe at the Oscars on Sunday.
(Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty Images)

Jimmy Kimmel and the Oscars are unlikely to win any awards for casting.

Turns out viral sensation “Gary From Chicago,” a.k.a. Gary Alan Coe, the first unsuspecting tourist Jimmy Kimmel introduced to front-row A-listers on Sunday night, was released from prison only three days before he was kissing Nicole Kidman’s hand and getting “married” to fiancee Vickie Vines by Denzel Washington.

FULL STORY: From prison to the Oscars, ‘Gary From Chicago’ writes his own Hollywood ending

“I spent this afternoon laughing and crying with Gary and Vicky,” public defender Karen Nash posted Monday on Facebook. “For those of you who missed it, I spent years working on Gary’s case. He got a life sentence for stealing perfume in 1997, and we finally won release this year. He got out on Friday, and was sight seeing with his lovely fiancé Vicky. If you watched the Oscars, you know the rest.”

The devil, of course, is in the details: It was a three-strikes conviction in 1997 on petty theft with violent priors, which included a 1985 robbery in Michigan, a 1982 robbery in Illinois and an attempted rape in 1978. That last one also put him in the Megan’s Law sex offenders’ database. Coe was resentenced earlier this year under California’s Proposition 36 and was released Thursday.

The couple, who were plucked off Hollywood Boulevard on Sunday by the folks setting up Kimmel’s stunt, were chatting up Chicago media on Monday, and the Chicago Bulls tweeted, “Gary from Chicago! We’ve got you covered if you want to come to a game!”

“Jimmy Kimmel Live” dropped a planned bit with Coe from its Monday lineup, a spokesperson told the Chicago Tribune, after the show “made the creative decision to focus on other topics.”

READ MORE: Oscars’ ‘Gary From Chicago’ finished a 20-year stint in prison just before meeting Hollywood’s A-list

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Dwayne Johnson and Busy Philipps explain their reactions in the Oscars’ ‘Moonlight’ surprise crowd shot

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Following the epic Oscars best picture mix-up on Sunday, a few high-profile seat fillers shared what it was like witnessing the historic gaffe firsthand. The People’s eyebrow made an appearance at the Oscars, as did Busy Philipps.

Here’s what the stars in our viral reaction shot had to say:

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Dwayne Johnson (via Instagram):

“You can literally see my wheels spinnin’ on whether or not I should hit the stage and take down an Oscars producer who I thought went rogue and was trying to sabotage our final moment of the night as La La Land was accepting for Best Picture.”

“Seconds before this I saw out of the corner of my eye, the producer saying loudly, ‘NO IT’S MOONLIGHT, the winner is MOONLIGHT!’ as he walked up onto the stage. When he walked on stage, I remember sitting up and saying to [Lauren Hashian] ''What the ... he doing?’ She grabbed my arm and said, ‘Oh my God, they made a mistake.’ The rest was history.”

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Actress Busy Philipps (via Instagram):

“Just woke up. 4000 of my closest friends have texted & emailed me about this picture. I’m so glad there’s visual evidence of what it was like to be sitting there in that moment. I MEAN!!!!”

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

According to Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel, he settled down next to actor and rival Matt Damon (whose mouth is agape in the photo) at the end of the show and Damon turned to Kimmel and said, “I think I heard the stage manager say they got the winner wrong.”

Incidentally, Kimmel, a notorious prankster, was accused of masterminding the whole incident.

“I was like, ‘Hey, no, I didn’t! I did not pull a prank!’” Kimmel said Monday on his late-night show. “If I’d pulled a prank, I wouldn’t have just had the wrong winner’s name on the envelope. There would have been a Bed Bath & Beyond coupon in there.”

SEE MORE CLOSE-UPS OF THE 2017 OSCARS AUDIENCE REACTION >>

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Casey Affleck and Nate Parker: How Hollywood handles race, power and privilege

Casey Affleck with his Oscar for supporting actor.
(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Brie Larson did not applaud, which sparked speculation that she wasn’t happy about Casey Affleck’s Oscar win for supporting actor.

The actress -- who won an Oscar last year for her portrayal of a survivor of rape -- stood unmoving as Affleck delivered his acceptance speech at Sunday’s Academy Awards.

Larson hugged him as she handed him the Oscar, but some interpreted her stance during his speech as a silent protest of sexual harassment. Affleck’s Oscar campaign had been dogged by two 2010 civil suits involving allegations of sexual harassment, both of which were later settled.

With Hollywood’s renewed embrace of Mel Gibson after his public fall from grace, there is a question of which accusations of wrongdoing are too big for a career to overcome and whether those standards are applied equally.

In 2016, the Oscar hopes of “The Birth of a Nation” director and star Nate Parker were derailed after college rape charges resurfaced, even though he was found to be innocent.

Where one man triumphed, another faltered. How does Hollywood handle allegations of impropriety and how much do race, power and a willingness to play the game matter?

Times reporter Tre’vell Anderson tackled the question in a commentary after Affleck’s Golden Globes victory in January.

For the record: A previous version of this story misstated that Affleck was accused of sexual assault. Affleck was accused of sexual misconduct and harassment in two settled civil suits.

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After two years of #OscarsSoWhite, what did Sunday night really tell us about the state of diversity in Hollywood?

Viola Davis and her Oscar for best supporting actress.
(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

At Sunday night’s Academy Awards, a last-minute fumble overshadowed a much larger, and more significant, event.

While everyone scrambled to absorb, and then deconstruct, the mistaken announcement of “La La Land” as best picture when “Moonlight” had actually won, a thousand conversations about errant envelopes threatened to take the spotlight off the historic nature of the night’s winners.

After two years of blistering criticism over back-to-back slates of all-white nominees, the motion picture academy spent the better part of last year attempting to broaden its membership and its sense of what it stood for as the public face of the movie business. Stung by last year’s #OscarsSoWhite furor, the group headed into the 89th Academy Awards hoping to turn the page on the diversity debate — and perhaps find a moment of redemption.

And the best picture debacle notwithstanding, that’s just what it did.

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Did poor envelope design contribute to Oscar’s best picture disaster?

Oscar envelopes from 2004, 2016 and 2017.
(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times; Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times; Phil McCarten / AMPAS)

One of the most epic mix-ups in the history of the Academy Awards could have been the result of a faulty envelope design as much as bad backstage distribution.

Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were there to present the last award of the night, the Oscar for best picture. However, instead of the envelope for best picture, they were given a second envelope for lead actress, which was won by Emma Stone of “La La Land,” causing Dunaway to announce that “La La Land” had won best picture, instead of “Moonlight.”

A new envelope design — red with the category embossed on the front in gold lettering — could have been a factor.

This was the first year since 2011 that Marc Friedland Couture Communications of Los Angeles did not design and print the Oscar envelopes.

Read MoreSEE PHOTOS FROM INSIDE THE SHOW >>

SEE PHOTOS OF THE BOTCHED ANNOUNCEMENT >>

SEE ALL OUR PHOTOS FROM THE OSCARS RED CARPET >>

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Watch all of the musical performances from the show

All of the original song nominees were performed during Sunday’s Academy Awards telecast, with Justin Timberlake performing “Can’t Stop the Feeling” from the movie “Trolls” kicking off the night.

During the show, Lin-Manuel Miranda set the stage for Auli’i Cravalho, introducing the “Moana” star with an original rap before she sang “How Far I’ll Go.”

John Legend pulled double-duty for “La La Land,” performing an arrangement of the film’s two nominated songs, “City of Stars” and “Audition,” and Sting took the stage for “The Empty Chair” from “Jim: The James Foley Story.”

Sara Bareilles performed a rendition of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” during the Oscars’ “In Memorium” segment.

And if you’re still hungry for more Oscar music magic, you can see Timberlake’s performance here.

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Jimmy Kimmel explains how Denzel Washington saved ‘Moonlight’s’ Oscar speech

In his first opening monologue after the Oscars, Jimmy Kimmel used the time to clear up what happened at last night’s Academy Awards. What really happened when the wrong movie was announced as best picture winner -- instead of “Moonlight” -- and how did the celebrities react?

After a confused Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced “La La Land” as the winner, the pick was shortly debunked. Kimmel, who was watching from the crowd next to Matt Damon, knew something was off.

“The audience is confused,” Kimmel said. “The people standing around me are confused. I assume everyone at home is confused, and I’m probably supposed to do something because no one’s doing anything.”

After the mix-up was fixed, it wasn’t a stage hand but Oscar winner (and nominee of the night) Denzel Washington who signaled to Kimmel to get out of the way and let “Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins take the stage for his thank-you speech. Good job, Denzel!

Kimmel also addressed the popular notion that the mix-up was a prank he had orchestrated. No, definitely not, he said, and if he had done such a prank, “there would’ve been a Bed Bath & Beyond coupon inside.”

SEE PHOTOS FROM INSIDE THE SHOW >>

SEE PHOTOS OF THE BOTCHED ANNOUNCEMENT >>

SEE ALL OUR PHOTOS FROM THE OSCARS RED CARPET >>

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Motion picture academy issues apology for ‘mistakes that were made’ in stunning Oscar snafu

(Kevin Winter / Getty Images)

A day after one of the most genuinely shocking moments in Oscar history – the incorrect announcement of “La La Land” instead of “Moonlight” as this year’s best picture – the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has released an official message apologizing to the filmmakers, presenters and viewers alike for the snafu.

The statement follows apologies by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm responsible for handling the Oscars voting tabulation and winners’ envelopes, for its role in the fumble at the climax of Sunday night’s show.

Read the academy’s statement below:

“We deeply regret the mistakes that were made during the presentation of the Best Picture category during last night’s Oscar ceremony. We apologize to the entire cast and crew ofLa La Land’ and ‘Moonlight’ whose experience was profoundly altered by this error. We salute the tremendous grace they displayed under the circumstances. To all involved —  including our presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, the filmmakers, and our fans watching worldwide  —  we apologize.

“For the last 83 years, the Academy has entrusted PwC to handle the critical tabulation process, including the accurate delivery of results. PwC has taken full responsibility for the breaches of established protocols that took place during the ceremony. We have spent last night and today investigating the circumstances, and will determine what actions are appropriate going forward. We are unwaveringly committed to upholding the integrity of the Oscars and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.”

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The many reactions when ‘Moonlight’ surprise won best picture at the Academy Awards

Matt Damon seemingly cannot contain his disbelief at the turnaround.
Matt Damon seemingly cannot contain his disbelief at the turnaround.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

It was a wild night at the Oscars.

If this is your first time looking at the Internet since yesterday, here’s the short version of what you missed: Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were handed the wrong card and erroneously announced “La La Land” had won best picture when, in fact, “Moonlight” had won that honor. Here’s the long version of what happened.

The Times photographer Al Seib was backstage at the exact moment the crowd learned that there had been a mistake. This is what it looked like.

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Meryl Streep, right, and Dwayne Johnson react with arched eyebrows. Sitting behind the Rock is motion picture academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs.
Meryl Streep, right, and Dwayne Johnson react with arched eyebrows. Sitting behind the Rock is motion picture academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
David Oyelowo, center, takes in the events.
David Oyelowo, center, takes in the events.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Jaden Piner of "Moonlight" takes the stage.
Jaden Piner of “Moonlight” takes the stage.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Busy Philipps clutches her perfectly manicured nails as the 'Moonlight' cast and crew give their thank-you speech.
Busy Philipps clutches her perfectly manicured nails as the ‘Moonlight’ cast and crew give their thank-you speech.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

SEE MORE CLOSE UPS OF THE 2017 OSCARS AUDIENCE REACTION >>

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Emma Stone, a deleted tweet and the failure of a failsafe: Tracking the Oscars’ best picture blunder

(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

The envelope debacle that stole the spotlight from “Moonlight” at the end of the 89th Academy Awards ceremony sparked enough fury and fervor to cement the incident among the great Hollywood dramas of all time.

How did this happen? Who dropped the ball? What did the “La La Land” producers know and when did they know it? Was there a second set of envelopes from the grassy knoll? (Kind of.) Is this Hollywood’s Zapruder film and, if so, who is Babushka Lady?

We watched and rewatched, fast-forwarded, rewound and froze frames. We observed the players and talked to some people backstage before, during and after the slow-motion wreck. We look forward to the documentary, which will surely win an Emmy. (Or will it?)

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Dustin Lance Black responds to Tarell Alvin McCraney saying the Oscar-winning ‘Milk’ writer inspired him

Tarell Alvin McCraney, left, at the 2017 Academy Awards and Dustin Lance Black at the 2009 Academy Awards.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

In accepting his award (along with director Barry Jenkins) for best adapted screenplay for “Moonlight” on Sunday night, Tarell Alvin McCraney paid homage to another gay Oscar winner whose triumph inspired him the way he hoped his would inspire others.

“I remember sitting back somewhere watching Dustin Lance Black accept for ‘Milk’ and thinking maybe one day that can be me,” he said backstage, Oscar in hand. “And here I am.”

Black, who nabbed his Academy Award in 2009 for original screenplay and wrote the LGBTQ rights miniseries “When We Rise,” premiering tonight on ABC, responded Monday in a statement exclusively to The Times:

“‘Moonlight’s’ wins sent a message of inspiration and hope to so many last night, including me. I welled up every time it was honored. Every acknowledgement it received inspired me to work harder and to do better. So, if in some small way I helped encourage Tarell along his magnificent journey to create this masterpiece, well, that’s the compliment of a lifetime.”

The film, about a poor black boy growing up in the projects of Miami grappling with his sexuality, is the first LGBTQ tale to win the best picture Oscar. McCraney hopes its success will encourage Hollywood to tell more stories like it, he continued backstage.

“The hope that we have today about telling stories is that those people, the ones who we’re leaning on to make those stories, were watching and found a platform that they saw they could stand on,” he said. “I hope that the storytellers up here and their proud journey can imprint on someone out there watching that they too can stand here too, and also tell their stories daringly and as intimately as possible.”

More about Tarell Alvin McCraney and the play that became “Moonlight”

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Movies like ‘Moonlight’ don’t win the Oscar for best picture — until they do

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Movies like “Moonlight” don’t win the Oscar for best picture.

Movies about the conflicted desires of young gay men, captured with quiet tenderness and exquisite intimacy, don’t win the Oscar for best picture. (Just ask “Brokeback Mountain.”)

Movies that tell modest coming-of-age stories, light on dramatic incident but rich in emotional rewards, don’t win the Oscar for best picture. (Just ask “Boyhood.”)

Movies that subtly examine some of the social and psychological burdens that weigh heavily on too many African Americans today — poverty, parental abandonment, drug addiction and mass incarceration — don’t win the Oscar for best picture.

Movies about black life that are not overtly about slavery don’t win the Oscar for best picture.

It’s hard to overstate just how culturally, economically, institutionally and statistically improbable an outcome “Moonlight’s” best picture Oscar win represents.

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All the red carpet fashion you need, in two minutes

Watch a time-lapse of the 89th Academy Awards red carpet in two minutes.

While award shows are obviously about the golden statues given to all the night’s honorees, the fashion is really all people care about. Because of course, no one wants to be on the dreaded worst-dressed list.

Check out a time-lapse of the Oscars’ red carpet to see your favorite celebrity working it... or not.

See who stunned us on the red carpet >>

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#OscarsSoWhite creator: ‘The wins that happened last night were not because of #OscarsSoWhite’

After two years of consecutive #OscarsSoWhite controversies, does Sunday night’s best picture victory for “Moonlight,” among other wins for actors and filmmakers of color, represent a major breakthrough for the issue of diversity in Hollywood? Or could it ultimately prove to be just a blip?

We spoke to writer and activist April Reign, creator of the #OscarSoWhite hashtag, about what Sunday night’s Oscar show says — and doesn’t say — about the current state of inclusion in the film industry.

After two years of all-white nominees in the acting categories, what was your main takeaway from Sunday night?

April Reign: My main takeaway was that when quality films are made that reflect the diversity of experiences in this country, people will go to see them. They will receive critical acclaim and, in some cases, they will win what is considered the highest award in the film industry.

I think if one saw all nine nominees for best picture, it was clear that “Moonlight” deserved to be nominated — and for me personally, it was the best film that I saw in 2016. But I’m also incredibly encouraged about what happened in the lesser-known categories: adapted screenplay and best documentary and even the nominations that we had of black people in cinematography and editing.

All that said, it’s just one night out of 90 nights of lack of representation of marginalized communities and, even with all of the wins [Sunday] night for films that reflect the black experience, #OscarsSoWhite remains relevant because there are still so many stories from traditionally underrepresented communities that need to be told.

What went through your head when it was initially announced that “La La Land” had won best picture?

I was disappointed, just because “La La Land” didn’t stay with me the way “Moonlight” did. “Moonlight” was such a beautiful film, it almost could have been a silent film and you could have just watched it and still taken something away from it. “La La Land” was a return to nostalgia and it was sort of a self-congratulatory film for Hollywood. I think there’s a place for all different kinds of films in different genres, but it wasn’t one that I would say, “I need to see that a second or third time,” like I did with “Moonlight.”

Then we had the snafu and things changed and I was elated because what I thought was the best film actually won. You know, it’s all personal and subjective and people can make arguments about all nine of the films and I absolutely get that. But for me, just as a moviegoer, I thought it was the best film of the year.

Had “La La Land,” in fact, won best picture, what is your sense of what the social media reaction and the conversation around the diversity issue might have been Monday?

There was some of that. In those 30 seconds, I was watching it happen on Twitter and people were angry.

And we’re going to have that every year. I already have people in my mentions saying the win for “Moonlight” was just as “rigged” as the 2016 presidential election was, or “Moonlight” only won because of affirmative action.

That’s the difficult thing for me moving forward, that every time a person of color wins, there’s going to be someone — and unfortunately some publications, not just some random trolls — that ask whether this was just some quota thing or whether it was deserved. And I think that’s unfortunate because I think it really downplays all of the effort and the hard work and the talent that goes into all of these performances.

Nobody questioned whether Emma Stone should win an Oscar or whether Meryl Streep should win an Oscar. But people always question whether a person of color should, and that’s just unfair.

We’ll never know how the votes broke down, but do you think the steps that the academy took last year to invite its largest, most diverse class ever has somehow turned the tide, or could this year ultimately just be a kind of one-off?

I think it remains to be seen. I think the influx of 683 invitees was helpful for everyone, both those who were already members and for new members, to say, “Let’s look at this process and make sure that we’re doing the very best that we can.”

But it’s very important to me that we make sure to say that the wins that happened last night were not because of #OscarsSoWhite.

Viola Davis deserves every award ever, in every category. Mahershala Ali’s gripping, haunting performance was the best that I saw last year, so he was fully deserving. And all of the movies that were nominated and won were in production or pre-production for years before January 2015 when I created the hashtag.

So it really remains to be seen what happens, let’s say, three or four years from now, if Hollywood really is going to make a significant change in commitment to financing and distributing and supporting — because those three things are not always synonymous — films that represent all marginalized communities.

[Sunday] was a great night, but it was one night out of many.

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‘Moonlight’ director Barry Jenkins and ‘La La Land’ producer Jordan Horowitz: Mutual admiration society post-Oscars

In response to a question posed late last night, what do you say to someone who just won an Oscar you thought was yours, the answer is “congratulations.”

After “Moonlight” writer-director Barry Jenkins and “La La Land” producer Jordan Horowitz connected at the Governors Ball, Jenkins took to Twitter to share that he was still processing the extraordinary circumstances surrounding his film’s best picture win. Like many Oscar-watchers, the overwhelming feeling for Horowitz was of admiration.

SEE ALL OUR PHOTOS FROM INSIDE THE SHOW >>

And, with a tweet posted a few hours later, the feeling is mutual, which is encouraging given the two are bound to be linked in Oscar history forever.

SEE ALL OUR PHOTOS FROM THE OSCARS RED CARPET >>

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Why the Oscars still matter, from the Academy Awards’ red carpet

Staff writer Tre’vell Anderson asks 2017 Academy Awards ceremony attendees to discuss the significance of the Oscars.

Ahead of Sunday night’s historic ceremony, The Times took to the red carpet to ask celebrities attending the over-the-top event about its importance -- especially with calls for greater diversity and inclusion still in the air. Everyone from “Moonlight” director, and now Oscar-winner, Barry Jenkins to “Elle’s” nominated lead Isabelle Huppert shared their thoughts:

“Everybody looks to the filmmaking community to reflect the role they live in. The Oscars, theoretically, is the best of that reflection.” - Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight”

“It celebrates creativity and it celebrates art, and that’s not exactly something lucrative when you start off in the beginning... So to celebrate people putting their heart and soul into something despite the odds against them, I think that is important.” - Allison Schroeder, “Hidden Figures”

“To celebrate this art form, which is so influential, is a good thing. It gives people an opportunity to maybe be aware of films that they otherwise wouldn’t.” - David Oyelowo, “A United Kingdom”

Here’s the worst (and best) of the Oscars red carpet

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Justin Timberlake, the Oscars’ photo-bomb extraordinaire

(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times—)

When he isn’t opening the Academy Awards ceremony or crooning for his fans, Justin Timberlake showcases his Jennifer Lawrence-caliber knack for photo-bombing.

On Sunday, the “Trolls” star memorably crashed — er, trolled — two key red carpet moments.

The former NSync frontman upstaged his wife, glittering Jessica Biel, during her red-carpet photo-op with a wacky stand-in behind her.

He also shoe-horned himself into his “Friends With Benefits” costar (and eventual Oscar winner) Emma Stone’s interview amid ABC’s live pre-show festivities with a face worthy of “The Shining.”

Having experienced it firsthand, Biel appeared to apologize for her husband’s behavior. Apparently, he can’t stop the feeling.

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The best picture twist ending was embarrassing for the academy but may be good for the Oscars

Janelle Monae, center, celebrates after coming onstage once the best picture mix-up was announced.
Janelle Monae, center, celebrates after coming onstage once the best picture mix-up was announced.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Not since a Chicago newspaper headlined “Dewey Defeats Truman” has there been a massive public screw-up on the order of what happened at the Oscars on Sunday night. But it’s an ill wind that blows nobody some good, and the huge embarrassment for Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences may turn out to be a good thing for the Oscars.

For if having a debacle like presenters announcing the wrong winner before millions of viewers in 225 countries does nothing else, it proves the lasting watchability of live television.

Yes, even in this age of presumed digital safeguards, everyone got to see the “La La Land” entourage troop joyously on stage and then retreat in disarray in the face of the equally shocked “Moonlight” folks when the error was discovered. Truly, if surrealist Luis Buñuel had had a writing credit on the program, he could not have done it any better.

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Meryl Streep’s eyes say it all: Look at the Oscar crowd’s faces during the ‘Moonlight’ mix-up

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Understandably, the unscripted best picture gaffe (there’s that word again) confounded home viewers. But it also flabbergasted the high-profile names inside the Dolby Theatre. Los Angeles Times backstage photographer Al Seib caught the moment on camera Sunday night.

Here’s the audience reacting to the reveal that “Moonlight” was indeed the best picture winner, not “La La Land.” Times photographer Seib, a veteran of the Oscars ceremony, captured the epic react shot. Below are some close-ups from his snapshot.

SEE ALL OUR PHOTOS FROM INSIDE THE SHOW >>

And yes, Matt Damon and Meryl Streep were all of us in that moment.

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Michelle Williams, left, and Busy Philipps look stunned.

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Dwayne Johnson raised an eyebrow. Meryl Streep raised both. That’s Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs over Johnson’s shoulder.

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Here’s Matt Damon with his jaw dropping to the floor.

Catch up on all of The Times’ Oscar coverage here.

SEE ALL OUR PHOTOS FROM THE OSCARS RED CARPET >>