People will be talking about the end of this year's Academy Awards for a long time to come. Jimmy Kimmel was at the heart of the chaos and according to him, we have Denzel Washington to thank for bringing some semblance of order back to the proceedings. Kimmel explained the entire situation during his monologue last night and admits he really didn't know what to do, until Denzel got his attention and gave him some direction.
Now I see Denzel Washington in the front row, trying to get my attention. He's gesturing and he's pointing, I don't know what he's pointing, but he yells 'Barry' and I'm like, 'what?' and he says 'Barry,' and eventually I figure out that Barry Jenkins, the director of Moonlight, is standing behind me and Denzel wants me to get him to the microphone to make a speech, which, you know, made sense. Thank god Denzel was there to make sense.
It's clear that there simply isn't a standard operating procedure when it comes to somebody reading the wrong name at the Oscars. When Faye Dunaway read the name of La La Land the entire show began to unravel. Jimmy Kimmel said that he was actually sitting in the audience next to Matt Damon, to do one last bit with the actor who had been his punching bag all night. However, when he saw the stage manager actually on the stage in the background while La La Land producers were giving speeches, he realized something was up. Of course, once he got there, he had no idea what exactly to do, at least until Denzel Washington gave him a clue.
The stage became a madhouse, you had everybody from both La La Land and Moonlight on the stage along with the presenters, the hosts and who knows who else. Barry Jenkins is probably hanging back because he doesn't want to get in the way, he's possibly not even 100% sure that he should be giving a speech, though one would expect he wanted to do so. Luckily, he was able to say a few words of thanks, though much of the crowd was still reacting to the mistake.
Jimmy Kimmel explains the entire mess below. Denzel swoops in to save the day at about the 4:37 mark.
Get ready for a lot of jokes in next year's Oscar host monologue. We figure by next year's Academy Awards the odds of this mistake happening will be greatly reduced, and at the same time they'll have a better plan on how to handle it if it does.