Warren Beatty Mixup Goes Viral As Oscars Dips To 9-Year Ratings Low

The absolute peak of embarrassment has to be the moment when an awards speech is cut short after it is revealed the win is illegitimate. This is what faced two producers for La La Land on Sunday night, when Jordan Horowitz was left with the unenviable task of handing his Oscar trophy to the people at Moonlight. Only seconds after thanking the Academy, his cast, crew and the world for this monumental achievement that never was.

Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway now follow in the footsteps of Steve Harvey, handing out an award to the wrong recipient on live television around the globe. The senior moment left all in sundry bemused, confused and shocked at proceedings. All while Beatty attempted to rectify the issue on stage.

"Warren! What did you do?" proclaimed the host Jimmy Kimmel, hoping to get a laugh out of the crowd. "I want to tell you what happened," begun the remorseful 79-year old. "I opened the envelope and it said, 'Emma Stone La La Land.' That's why I took such a long look at Faye and at you. I wasn't trying to be funny."

Kimmel: Beatty Is Perplexed and Over-Sexed

Speaking with the broadcasters on ABC News after the curtain closed, Kimmel ran through how the mishap came to be.

"I don't know the whole story," replied Kimmel. "There were a couple of things I do know though. Number one, I know that the envelope Warren Beatty was handed said, 'Outstanding female actor,' on it. It did, I saw that on the Internet."

When the interviewer pointed out that he handed the envelope to Dunaway, Kimmel attempted to make sense of the fiasco.

"Right because he was confused, because the card, which he showed me by the way, said 'Emma Stone La La Land' on it. So this was confusing obviously. So we thought he was being coy and cute and milking it to make everybody suffer. But in reality he was perplexed by why her name was on it.... Warren Beatty has had so much sex, he can't think about things like that anymore."

Viewers Turned Off In Record Numbers

Courtesy of THR, the Oscar audiences viewership since 2000 indicates that ABC had a rough night for the huge event, dipping to a low not seen since 2008. While the Beatty fiasco had people scrambling for YouTube and social media, the actual telecast was a major letdown for the network.

2017 — 32.9m
2016 — 34.4m
2015 — 37.3m
2014 — 43.7m
2013 — 40.4m
2012 — 39.5m
2011 — 37.9m
2010 — 41.6m
2009 — 36.9m
2008 — 31.8m (low)
2007 — 39.9m
2006 — 38.6m
2005 — 42.2m
2004 — 43.6m
2003 — 33.0m
2002 — 40.5m
2001 — 42.9m
2000 — 46.5m (high)

Source: THR