Jimmy Kimmel Recounts The Best Picture Oscar Mess, Sans Jokes: People Were ‘Mad And Confused’

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Jokes on Jimmy Kimmel Live notwithstanding, the fallout from the Best Picture Oscar kerfuffle has been a source of embarrassment for the Academy and PricewaterhouseCooper. The two accountants at the center of it all, one of whom was allegedly too busy tweeting to give Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway the correct envelope, will never work the Oscars again. And as Kimmel revealed on the latest episode of Bill Simmons’ popular podcast, making light of the situation was the last thing on his mind at the time.

“I walk up onstage and all hell is breaking loose and people are mad and confused. I mean I feel bad for them, but I can’t help but laugh because it’s such an uncomfortable situation,” Kimmel explained. The Oscars host had been sitting with Matt Damon in the audience, as the show’s final joke was meant to continue their ongoing feud. Obviously, that didn’t happen: “I didn’t know if my mic was on. Didn’t know if people could hear me. People were very confused. It wasn’t a great moment for a joke because people wanted to know what was going on. I didn’t know what was going on.”

Initially, the La La Land and Moonlight teams simply stood on the stage while Kimmel, Beatty, the stage manager (“he’s in the shot, which I know is not supposed to happen”), and the PwC accountants tried to make sense of the situation. Once Denzel Washington caught the host’s attention from the audience, however, Kimmel managed to push Moonlight director and producer Barry Jenkins to the mic. This settled things momentarily, but the volatile atmosphere didn’t dissipate once the cameras turned off.

“Afterward, I somehow ended up in the huddle trying to figure out what was going on,” recalled Kimmel. “There was the producers, Mike de Luca and Jennifer Todd are the producers of the show, then there’s [Dawn Hudson] and [Cheryl Boone Isaacs] who run the Academy and they were trying to figure out what had happened. And for some reason, I became a part of that with Warren Beatty.” The host managed to tease the co-presenter some more, but praised him for holding onto the envelopes and refusing to hand them off before they could assess what happened. “That’s the evidence, that’s the smoking gun. As soon as you give those envelopes up who knows who switches what.”

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)