Stars React To The 2017 Oscars

All eyes were on Los Angeles as the 89th Academy Awards unfolded on the evening of Feb 26, 2017. The world's biggest and most glitzy industry trade show was long, funny, and ended in an absolute disaster of a best picture-winner mix-up that immediately overshadowed the entire evening. The night's biggest Oscar was mistakenly given to La La Land, whose cast and crew took the stage and delivered an acceptance speech before host JImmy Kimmel awkwardly explained that the correct winner was Moonlight (and no, he wasn't joking). Here's how stars and commentators reacted to the night's winners—and that unprecedented twist of an ending.

Mahershala Ali wins best supporting actor

Fan favorite Mahershala Ali started the night's thrilling victories by taking home the gold for his utterly haunting performance in Moonlight. Actor Theo Rossi saluted his "Luke Cage brother" for claiming the statue, sharing a picture and kind words on Twitter: "There is not a person in this crazy business who deserves everything it has to offer more." Donnie Wahlberg was effusive, tweeting: "My heart's happy now!" at the sight of Ali taking the stage. Oprah Winfrey? She was simply "in tears." Others applauded Ali's all-time good week, noting that just days before his career-changing achievement, he and wife Amatus Sami-Karim celebrated the birth of their first child, a daughter named Bari Najma Ali.

Viola Davis' acceptance speech

On the occasion of her long-awaited win for her supporting actress performance in Fences, Viola Davis took the stage to what appeared to be unanimous applause. As The Help star Jessica Chastain put it, "It's about damn time." In light of Davis having now won an Oscar, a Tony, and an Emmy award, writer Luvvie Ajayi called for a campaign to get Davis a Grammy: "I am officially obsessed [with] making sure she gets the EGOT crown," a privilege only a dozen stars have achieved. Model Naomi Campbell sang Davis' praises, while Jane Fonda and Black Panther Chadwick Boseman focused on the magnificence of her powerful and trembling acceptance speech.

Justin Timberlake shows us how to dance, dance, dance

Kicking off the night the right way, Justin Timberlake assembled a squad of dancers and brought the roof down with a rousing performance of "Can't Stop the Feeling" from the Trolls soundtrack. Radio star Ricky Smiley hit the nail on the head when he tweeted that JT "had the room going off!" Actress Ashley Benson kept it real, telling folks at home that his performance "will give you FOMO," and news anchor Anderson Cooper reported that the show's kickoff was "the best opening of an Oscars in years."

Jimmy Kimmel delivers jokes and smarm

Being an Oscar host sounds like one of the least satisfying gigs imaginable, particularly if you consider all the high-profile criticism that undoubtedly comes your way following the show. One viewer's killer line is another's hacky joke, and host Jimmy Kimmel received equal amounts of praise and criticism for his performance at the Dolby Theatre. Critics raised issues about Kimmel's material making fun of foreign names and using Lion kid star Sunny Pawar as a prop in a Lion King gag, but most celebrities seemed to get a kick out of the show.

Actress Yvette Nicole Brown tweeted that Kimmel "and his Matt Damon foolishness is never not funny," and talk show host (and former Oscar host) Ellen DeGeneres told Kimmel "you've got this job for life." This is Us creator Dan Fogelman said Kimmel "positively crushed" the hosting gig, while actress Lauren Elizabeth tipped her hat to "that random guy Gary [that] stole the show," referring to the tour bus full of strangers Kimmel arranged to be dropped off at the theatre during a literally showstopping moment in the middle of the awards. Gary from Chicago—Oscar host 2018?

Emma Stone wins best actress

Emma Stone breathlessly and humbly accepted her best actress Oscar for her performance as big dreamer Mia Dolan in La La Land, and her friends in the audience could not have been happier for her. Actor Josh Gad called the win "beyond deserved," and MTV's Josh Horowitz dubbed her "legitimately one of the best people I've gotten to know in this job." Perez Hilton's mind went to weird places, while co-star Ryan Gosling regarded her fondly. Seriously, look at him looking at her. Speaking of dreamy gazes, model Tyra Banks gushed that Stone's eyes "are so big and beautiful, I get lost in them when I watch her films," which is the sort of statement that would be a little bit creepy if it was said by anybody else. Finally, writers Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan pointed out that the actress made a subtle political statement by wearing a Planned Parenthood pin on her dress.

Moonlight wins in a chaotic upset

How embarrassing! How outstanding. Oscar night concluded in a collision of trainwreck and triumph, as presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced the wrong movie as the best picture winner. The last minute upset put Moonlight over the presumptive champion, La La Land, and the world went nuts.

"Personally, I blame Steve Harvey," Kimmel said, referencing the game show host's 2015 gaffe at the Miss Universe pageant. When Kimmel quipped, "Warren, what did you do?" Beatty tried to explain the reason for the mistake, which apparently had to do with an envelope mix-up. It was strange. It was awkward. It was real—everything that makes live TV special.

Comic W. Kamau Bell cracked jokes about other potential mistakes that may have gone unnoticed throughout the night, and Norm Macdonald invoked "fake news" as the culprit. Keith Olbermann suggested parallels to the U.S. presidential election, while Buzzfeed's Jarett Wieselman implored audiences to "keep your eyes on the background" for the mesmerizing moment when the La La Land team realizes what's gone wrong. Actor Jesse Williams summoned a Wynona Ryder video clip, while author Roxane Gay kept the focus on the winning film, calling Moonlight "elegant and moving and passionate and tender" and altogether deserving of the award, despite the chaos surrounding its announcement.

As the show's credits rolled, we all went to bed in shock, having just witnessed an epic ending to an unprecedented night at the Academy Awards.