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CNN NEWSROOM

"Moonlight" Wins Best Picture Academy Award after On-Stage Mix- up; Fashion Statements on the Red Carpet; Syria Represented at Oscars. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired February 27, 2017 - 01:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN NEWSROOM ANCHOR: Hello everybody, you are watching a special edition of "NEWSROOM" L.A. on Hollywood's biggest night the 89th Academy Awards. I'm John Vause.

AMARA WALKER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And I'm Amara Walker. Thanks so much for joining us. A stunning, A really stunning mix-up at the Academy Awards in Hollywood.

VAUSE: It all happened in the last moments of the ceremony on Sunday night, it's one that will be talked about for a very long time. The acclaimed drama "Moonlight" won the biggest award of the night best picture.

WALKER: But, presenter Faye Dunaway announced by mistake that the musical "La La Land" had won, and it wasn't until the makers of that film were on the stage, giving their speech that they realized "Moonlight" had won best picture instead. Let's get more on all this from our Stephanie Elam, she is at the Governors Ball in Hollywood, California. I'm still stunned just reading about this and saying that this actually happened. What are there celebs there saying?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well right now, Amara, just finished talking to Jordan Horowitz and he was the gentlemen on-stage who was talking at the time accepting on behalf of "La La Land." When it became clear, with a bunch of people with head-sets were on stage running around that, that movie did not win, and in fact, that "Moonlight" one. And he said that when someone - he saw that envelope came up saying the right winner and he took it, because you saw that people didn't think it was real, and he held it up then say, no, we didn't win, "Moonlight" did. And he says that this is really a tight- knit community - filmmaking community, and he felt that he needed to, you know, give these folks their honor, and let them have this moment. It's the biggest award of the night, best picture, it's a big deal. And he wanted them to have that moment, but he did say he is still sort of in a daze at this point, that this just happened the way that it did.

VAUSE: Stephanie, do we know exactly how this happened? How did they manage to read out the wrong name? Because you would think that reading, you know, a name of a movie from a card would be pretty straightforward, right?

ELAM: Right. It seems to me that there was a card mix-up, their cards were not the right ones. That's what I think has happened. It's still not completely cleared, but that's what I think it happened. At this point, that, it looked like Warren Beatty may have been, had the wrong card. But I want you to hear Jordan in his own words, explaining what happened. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WARREN BEATTY, AMERICAN ACTOR AND FILMMAKER: And the Academy award for Best Picture --

FAYE DUNAWAY, AMERICAN ACTRESS: You're awful. Come on. "La La Land."

JORDAN HOROWITZ, AMERICAN FILM PRODUCER: It's off. Damien Chazelle, we're standing on your shoulders. We lost by the way but, you know. Guys, guys, I'm sorry. No. There's a mistake. "Moonlight," you guys won Best Picture. Come on up, this is not a joke.

This is not a joke. I'm afraid they read the wrong thing.

HOROWITZ: This is not a joke. "Moonlight" has won Best Picture. "Moonlight," Best Picture.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ELAM: And obviously, that was the moment that everyone discovered that the wrong movie had been announced. And so, it was just obviously devastating. That's all pretty much people here are talking about. The gentlemen from "Moonlight" are actually standing right next to me so I'm going to try to get them for an interview to see how they felt about that because I'm sure they're still a little bit stunned as well.

WALKER: I wonder if they felt like their win was kind of overshadowed by this monumental mix-up.

VAUSE: Screw-up.

WALKER: Yes, horrible. All right, Stephanie, let us know if you -

ELAM: It's something they will never forget, that's for sure.

WALKER: Of course, they all think anyone's going to forget this. This is going down in Oscar history, for sure. It already has. All right, Stephanie Elam, we appreciate you. Thank you so much, keep us posted.

VAUSE: OK well, Emma Stone, she won the Oscars for Best Actress in "La La Land." Backstage, she talked about this mix-up. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EMMA STONE, ACTRESS: We are so excited for "Moonlight." I think it's one of the best films of all time. So, I was pretty beside myself. I also was holding my Best Actress in a Leading Role card that entire time, so whatever story, I don't mean to start stuff, but whatever story that was, I had that card. So, I'm not sure what happened but I really wanted to talk to you guys first.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALKER: Wow.

VAUSE: Oh, OK.

WALKER: That response is so --

VAUSE: I'm stoned here right now.

WALKER: What are we in the future generation? Yes, wow.

VAUSE: Let's introduce our stunned and shocked panel. Five-time Golden Globe Nominee actress, Marilu Henner. Entertainment journalist, Segun Oduolowu and Sam Schacher.

WALKER: Also with us, San Diego Correspondent, Alicia Malone and and TV writer and comedian, Louis Virtel. Louis, let's start with you. What do you make of that? Well, Emma Stone just said, I mean, she's basically saying they're lying, it's not true that there was an envelope or card mix-up.

[01:05:21] LOUIS VIRTEL, WESTCOAST ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR: -My - I'm hypothesizing right now, my guess is they reprinted the same card and put it in an envelope or something. Because it looks to me Warren Beatty doesn't understand what he's reading, like it doesn't say Best Picture on it or something. That's just my guess. But I do appreciate Emma Stone stirring it up that way. So, a little bit of drama at the end of the night is exciting.

VAUSE: Maarilu, as you're just watching what was happening on stage with the "La La Land" guys out there, suddenly realizing they didn't win, it was "Moonlight". Just how uncomfortable, how awkward?

MARILU HENNER, ACTRESS: Oh, I can't even -- and they were probably sitting closer than they, you know, they were sitting pretty close because everybody expected a big "La La Land" sweep and so they got up there and the music is playing and everything else and then all of the sudden, that's it. The rugs been pulled out. I can't imagine both sides feel because they are robbed their moment. The "Moonlight" people and also the "La La Land" people. It's terrible.

WALKER: Something like this has, again, never happened in Oscar history.

HENNER: Never.

WALKER: Especially when you look at Warren Beatty too. And he looked, at loose in saying, he looked utterly confused and that's why he didn't announce the winner and then for the being, Faye Dunaway announced the winner.

SEGUN ODUOLOWU, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: You would think that actors would be able to read from a script. But what I - look, I love Emma Stone now even more. You take shots at the crowd and you best not miss. She's like, "Let me tell you something, I'm holding, I got the Oscar in one hand and I got the card in the other," like, "Don't put that like that was a mistake." I love her for that. At least, transparency, that's what we want in government and that's what we want in our movies, too.

WALKER: OK, Steve Gavin's behind this?

VAUSE: Alicia, let's bring you in. Emma Stone, really stirring things up.

ALICIA MALONE, FILM REPORTER: Yes and apparently back stage, she also said, "Cool, we've made history." So, at least it's part of the whole big story. And this will be an Oscar moment that we'll see replayed time and time again. It's probably one of the most shocking things to ever happen at the Oscars. I love that she corrected that. There was a close-up I saw on twitter of Warren Beatty holding the envelope saying, Best Lead Actress on the envelope. So, maybe it was a reprint, I don't know. But it did look like he didn't know what was going on and he showed it to Faye and then Faye read it out, who knows? But kudos to Jordan Horowitz for handling that with grace.

WALKER: Should we put that for "Moonlight"?

VIRTEL: And by the way, I'm always rooting for Faye Dunaway to have a cultural moment. So, this is very exciting. Faye Dunaway wages back in history.

MALONE: It's like Bonnie and Clyde.

WALKER: Shouldn't we feel bad for "Moonlight," though? Do you feel like the spotlight, you know, the moment has been kind of taken away from them because now a lot of people are focusing on this crazy thing?

SAM SCHACHER, AMERICAN TELEVISION HOST AND PRODUCER: Twitter feels that way. I was just looking at my Twitter and the majority of the tweets underneath the Oscars hashtag is people upset forming line, feeling like this moment has somehow overshadowed their win and that tomorrow morning, what will everybody be talking about in the media and on social media, though we'll be talking about that and not this exceptional win for "Moonlight." And that's disappointing.

VAUSE: Which is the same, if you saw the move. It's the same because this movie "Moonlight," it's a movie that rarely ever gets made in Hollywood. It was done on a shoestring. It was an incredible movie, it was powerful. It's a story that never gets told. And somehow, yes, there is a distraction now.

HENNER: But it was an accident. I mean, I don't think anybody -

VAUSE: I'm sure it wasn't done deliberately.

ODUOLOWU: But I think it's a good - I think it's a good accident. And because what it will do is it will drive people to the theaters to see this movie. Because people will going to wonder now -- it will always be embroiled in this scandal story faux pas, etcetera. But people will want to see what the fuss is about until it will drive people and dollars to this film and maybe more films like a "Moonlight" will get made. As I've said a hundred times, thousands, the Academy loves itself. People in Hollywood, listen, we are so good at putting makeup on and loving ourselves.

WALKER: In a mirror.

ODUOLOWU: A tremendous thing.

VAUSE: That's what "La La Land" on the picture.

ODUOLOWU: That's what "La La Land" was. It was an image to Hollywood. Oh my gosh, why would they want to award it so many times? But "Moonlight" was the small movie. It's like the little engine that could and a story that doesn't get made by people not usually given a chance, win Best Picture. I don't care what the scandal is, go see this movie. And now you have a great reason.

WALKER: I will go see "Moonlight" because I didn't see that. What I did see was "La La Land," as we're talking about that. Alicia, I just - clearly, I mean, I just don't understand what the hype was all about. I honestly got really bored about 50 minutes through and I did not want to finish watching it. And I'm a fan of musicals. Explain to me and any else who shares my perspective, why this film, this musical, got so much praise?

MALONE: Well, I don't understand how you can be bored by it. It's a film that I've seen 12 times. And it does feel like maybe that is personal to me. Because it's about moving to L.A. and following your dreams, classic musicals and everything that I love. But I will say that "Moonlight" was my favorite film of last year because it was something unique and different and so special. But "La La Land" as you said, you know, Hollywood, loved to congratulate themselves. So, I think that's one of the reasons why it got a lot of prize. But the backlash that are coming when it got so many nominations, and people were saying, "Well, why does it deserve that many nominations?" I don't think that it should have been that the winner overall, in the entire evening. I'm really, really happy Oscars spread the Awards out amongst many different films because hopefully people will see those films as well. It's a beautiful movie but I don't think it's as ground-breaking as some of the other movies like "Ben-Hur" which has won so many Oscars.

VAUSE: OK, let's just look back at Jenkins from "La La Land" reacting to -

WALKER: "Moonlight"

VAUSE: "Moonlight" sorry. From "Moonlight" reacting to the mix-up with the award for Best Motion Picture.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[01:10:59] BARRY JENKINS, DIRECTOR: I think all the movies that were nominated were worthy, so, I accepted the results. I applauded like everyone else. I noticed the commotion that was happening and I thought something strange had occurred. And then, I'm sure everybody saw my face. But I was speechless when the result -- that was awkward because I've watched the Academy Awards, I've never seen that happen before. And so, it made a very special feeling even more special but not in the way I expected.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: A special feeling for him even more special. Is this some kind of turning point for the Academy given the fact that this movie we've been talking about so often is so rarely told, these stories are so rarely told in Hollywood?

SCHACHER: This is definitely a turning point. We definitely still have a long way to go. But as we spoke about earlier, not only is this about somebody who's struggling with their sexuality and also someone of color but it's also really highlights addiction. So, it's a great film. I will say I'm so upset that Barry Jenkins did not win Best Director. There's an interesting tidbit that I recently learned about him. If you watch "Moonlight," you see on character, right? Portrayed in three different chapters of that characters life. That - those three actors that portrayed that one character, never got to speak to one another, they never got to watch each other's performances per Barry Jenkins because he did not want them influenced. So, it was solely based on his direction that connected the thread between the three of them to portray one character. And when you watch "Moonlight," you think it's the same person even though it's three different characters at three different parts of their lives.

ODUOLOWU Can I just disagree really quickly to Sam?

VAUSE: Of course.

(CROSSTALK)

ODUOLOWU: This is like - this is like, you know, us going at it all over again and I love it. But I don't think it's going to change anything. And especially for people of color. I will --

SCHACHER: It's still a right step in the right direction.

ODUOLOWU: But I'm going to hold my - I'm not really going to hold my breath because Monique won an Oscar. How many movies have you seen with Monique? Or Halle Berry? Where they're playing, where they're given roles? That women who have won Oscars or people that have won Oscars? Where's Forest Whittaker? Where's Jamie Foxx? People that have won and - won for great portrayals and great movies? Where are their opportunities?

(CROSTTALK)

ODUOLOWU: Not like black actors. Not like black movies. Not like black movies and what black actors typically get nominated for in black movies, what they typically get nominated for. This is the first time. So I'm -- my eye is - all four are watching. WALKER: It's still a long way to go.

VAUSE: Marilu, leave yours.

HENNER: Yes, as you say, look at how last year, Chris Rock being the host and, you know, Oscars are so white and everything else. Something was really said. Every company got up there and made a statement, it was kind of the running theme, the yarn of the entire night. Look how much it's changed this year? Look at all the winners?

ODUOLOWU: Yes, that's like a bone being thrown.

HENNER: No, but have you not - no, next year. No, but next year, let's see what happens.

ODUOLOWU: Where are the Asian actresses? Where are the Asian actresses? When will the Academy and Hollywood, going to stop letting white people play Asians in movies?

SCHACHER: That's true.

ODUOLOWU: When are they going to do that?

HENNER: No, we'd like to see what happens next year, hopefully. I'm there with you.

(CROSSTALK)

VAUSE: And Mahershala Ali getting the Best Supporting Actor. The first Muslim to receive an Academy Award. So, again, that is another significant moment for about this movie, "Moonlight."

ODUOLOWU: OK, I feel like we're patting ourselves on the back where the Academy does the right thing. What, you're supposed to do the right thing because it's the right thing? Not because the last year, you did the wrong thing so blatantly?

WALKER: The right thing should always be recognized as well. Not just always the wrong thing.

HENNER: And let's see what happens next year. OK?

SCHACHER: When we're back exactly here, right?

ODUOLOWU: All right, listen. I pray that we are sitting back here saying, "Oh my gosh, such diversity in the Oscars." And we're not using diversity like it's a word, like we just can say, like in Hidden Figures when John Glenn's character says, "Bring me the smart girl. Not the colored girl, not the black girl. Bring me the smart one when we're talking about numbers."

WALKER: When we don't have to talk about diversity anymore, that's when we know that it's now been taken cared of. It's not the elephant in the room.

ODUOLOWU: Yes, when bad black movies are nominated, not just ground- breaking ones.

VAUSE: OK.

ODUOLOWU: Yes. Bring Tyler Perry in the pit, then it's real.

VAUSE: As expected, the U.S. President came up repeatedly during the Oscars. He was called a quality judge with a prodigal humor. And the commentary, excuse me, from Hollywood's big night.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:17:14] PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: Hi there, I'm Patrick Snell with your CNN WORLD SPORT Headlines. Starting off with the first major trophy of the Jose Mourinho here at Manchester United on Sunday, his team winning a five-goal thriller against of an EFL Cup final against South Hampton, dramatic later winner at Wembley. The Red Devils would dug to get out to an early 2-nil lead. South Hampton though, coming right back with two goals from Manolo Gabbiadini, slacked on so with headed on a late 87 minutes up, the second of the match to make Mourinho now the first United Head Coach to win a major trophy in his first season.

On Saturday, Chelsea open up an 11-point lead to top the Premier League. But a day later, Tottenham showing us a - still maybe a bit of life left in their title chase and they won this one comfortably. Harry Kane with his third hat trick of the season. He's now scored 70 times in the League this season at 22-nil. Here comes Spurs thrashing Stoke City and they now narrow the gap to 10, just a 10 on their London rivals, 4-nil the final.

Amien's Rugby team chasing a second consecutive fixations crown. They're trying to win every game so they can also snag an underground slam. And it's also, they'll break New Zealand's world record of 18 straight victories. They wouldn't have expected too many problems, though, against Italy at home on Sunday. They were 10-5 down at halftime but they rallied to win comfortably in the end, getting the job done, 36-15. So there are your WORLD SPORT Headlines, I'm Patrick Snell.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VIOLA DAVIS, ACTRESS: I grew up in poverty. You know, I grew up in an apartments that were condemned and rat infested. And I just always sort of wanted to be somebody. And I just wanted to be good at something. And so this is sort of like the miracle of God, of dreaming big and just hoping that it sticks and it lands and it did. Who knew?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Viola Davis there, winner of the Best Supporting Actress.

WALKER: Powerful speech.

VAUSE: Great speech on stage, a great press conference backstage at the Oscars. And she is definitely somebody. WALKER: Yes, gorgeous.

VAUSE: Back with us here in Los Angeles, actress Marilu Henner, Entertainment Journalist, Segun Oduolowu and Sam Schacher. And I think I talk about them differently every time. And San Diego Correspondent Alicia Malone and TV Writer and Comedian, Louis Virtel. OK, we were all expecting Donald Trump to get basically panned throughout the night. There were jabs but there wasn't sort of the big anti-Trump tirades that we've seen at the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild. Before the awards even began, Trump supporter and former Arkansas Governer, Mike Huckabee kind of set the stage. That is what he tweeted, "Watch celebs spew ignorant political venom at the Oscars? Now, I think I'd rather have a colonoscopy. Both happen from the same location." So, Louis, there were certainly - the expectation that this would be a big night of Trump bashing, but it didn't quite work out that way, did it?

VIRTEL: No. I need to that tweet quickly, I'm going to quote my friend Scott Bixby at The Daily Beast, who saw that tweet and go, "Wait the Oscars happen and my (INAUDIBLE), I hate when people are trying to be funny, like please don't. Like, you messed that up entirely, try again." Yes, I will say - I'm going to actually disagree with (INAUDIBLE) a little bit.

I'm always happy at the Oscars when artists like, live up to the task of being an artist and announce how political they are or have political thoughts. Because that is exciting to me, that proves to me they are an artist. So, I was really happy about what we've heard, I though Farhadi is speech is read by somebody else. It was like a real amazing moment. I mean, people were listening to every word of that, you know, that was like the most dispensable and kind of craziest and almost saddest moment of the night.

So, I was really happy with what I heard in terms of, you know, political all say grandstanding, if that's what people use - the term people use when they're talking about the Oscars. But I think we could've even stand to have more, you know, I mean a lot of the ceremony was like a sort of typically whimsical, you know, adventure into the audience, you know, and candy everywhere. So, I was very happy that it was - that it got flip-fly, I actually thought it could've gotten more political.

ODUOLOWU: Wait, Louis, just to - just to respond, I didn't say that I don't like actors or actresses being political, I said that I don't think the Oscars is the best place for it. Because if I'm sitting at home, in my couch, watching the show, I don't think that these people connect with me. And so, when you get on this podium in a $2,000 tuxedo and $10,000 Givenchy gown, and then you tell me how upset you are about the travel ban, but you're a rich white or black person living in the country it doesn't have the same impact as - no, but you know what, when George Clooney is going to Darfur, or when Sean Penn is going to Haiti. Like, when you put your boots on the ground, and you put your money where your mouth is? I'm fine, but do it from the $3,000 from that stage.

WALKER: There were some strong messages though, don't you agree? I mean, again, let's do with the talking about Asghar Farhadi, you know, who is the Iranian director who won for the best foreign language film, and he boycotted the Oscars in protest of President Trump's travel ban. And the fact that he was absent seem to give a very strong statement

ODUOLOWU: That's more powerful.

WALKER: I want to toss us some sound of, from his spokesperson who spoke backstage after that moment. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he wanted to stand in solidarity with the rest of the people who have been subject of the travel ban. And that they are not able to go see their friends, their family members, and a lot of other, you know, important - share the important moments in their lives. So, he could not be here receiving this award, which means a lot to him. And that's a big message he was sending.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: So, Samantha, did it had more-or-less impact that sort of the biggest anti-Trump criticism didn't really come from, you know, the American actors on the stage, it came from someone who's in Iraq.

SCHACHER: I think in this case, silence is golden. In this specific case, because we got to hear it read. Everybody was glued to their seats listening in. And it allows you to - it allows you to marinate. And then you saw a lot of people quoting it right within Twitter, and on Facebook. And again, I know we talked about this earlier that you and I disagree because the Oscars has such a large audience, this is the perfect platform for someone to speak to their politics. And just because somebody might be well-to-do - not everybody that is nominated for an Oscars, whether it could be for cinematography, whether it could be for makeup, whether it could be for acting is a millionaire. And just because you are a millionaire doesn't mean you are not a U.S. citizen, or it doesn't that you are global citizen, and that you don't have an opinion.

ODUOLOWU: Oh, I'm not - again, I'm not saying you can't have an opinion. I'm not saying that you - I'm just saying, put your money where your mouth is. They got $140,000 swag bags for being on that stage. Don't make that to charity.

SCHACHER: That's true. That's true.

ODOULOWU: But if really want to show me that you stand -

SCHACHER: I think people - most people do.

ODOULOWU: If you show me that you stand with the regular people that are really suffering in this country, or that are really worried about their healthcare, or really worried about their loved ones not being able to come to this country, then don't do it from a stage where you're dressed like a million bucks. Go stand with me outside a Walmart. SCHACHER: Can I challenge you really quick? Can I challenge you

really quick because when you see someone even as we spoke to earlier and so subtly wearing like an ACLU ribbon, and then have the opportunity whether it's their speech, or whether it's on the red- carpet interview, it gives them an opportunity to speak about the ACLU. So, when you have an opportunity, again, there could be a young person at home with no idea what's really going on in politics, who has no idea what's going on with the ACLU and travel ban and trans- rights. So, perhaps, it is affecting that one or two, or maybe thousand people out there. That's important.

[01:25:03] ODOULOWU: It's not enough.

VAUSE: Yes, Marilu.

HENNER: No, but I also think that you don't want to hear the same thing from every single person that gets up there. So you have to pick your platform. I mean, if it's something that you feel really passionate about, then you work it into your speech. But I'm sure, you know, when you win something, you go up there and you are in the land where elephants die as may, I think they used to say. You know, you're like, you're nervous, you're excited and you don't want to overdo it too much in any one direction.

WALKER: And on that note, not doing it too much in one direction, what about Jimmy Kimmel, Alicia? You know, what did you think about his performance? I mean, his job was to strike kind of the right balance and he did go there with, you know, President Trump. He mocked him with his tweeting. He kind of mocked him, you know, the way he said that Meryl Streep was overrated and he joked about the diversity this year. What did you make of his performance? Did he do it the right way?

MALONE: Yes, he really impressed me. I thought he's struck that correct turn between being really funny and also making a statement. I also loved how he called himself out when a joke didn't work that well. You know, when he made his OJ joke and it didn't go that well. I loved the tweeting. I think it was though at the right balance of politics for the night and I agree that, you know, that Oscars has such a big platform and such a large audience that it does really make a statement. When you have someone like Ashgar Farhadi, you know, not turning up to it, I think that was just the highlight of the night for me in terms of politics but Jimmy Kimmel, I thought he was great.

ODUOLOWU: So then you - you agree with me?

VAUSE: Everyone agrees with you.

ODUOLOWU: By not being there reading it, it's more powerful than those people.

WALKER: Not everybody cannot be there.

VAUSE: Everyone agrees with you, we'll take a break.

(CROSSTALK) ODUOLOWU: $140,000.

(CROSSTALK)

WALKER: Hold that thought, hold that thought. Next on NEWSROOM L.A., after the uh-oh, there was elation. Diversity wasn't just a major theme at the 89th Academy Awards, it was triumphant.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:30:26] AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. You are watching a special edition with a very special panel --

(CROSSTALK)

WALKER: -- a very noisy and very excited panel of NEWSROOM, Los Angeles, on Hollywood's biggest night, the 89th Academy Awards. Thanks for staying with us. I'm Amara Walker.

JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: It's great to have you with us, everybody. I'm John Vause.

The biggest surprise of the Academy Awards came in the very last moment on Sunday's ceremonies, a big one.

Let's go to Stephanie Elam, standing by at the governor's ball.

Stephanie, what have you got?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRRESPONDENT: Look who I have here.

VAUSE: You've got someone, OK.

ELAM: I have Viola Davis and her stunning handsome husband with her.

Tell me, tell me, the best speech of the night. You were prepared for this moment, weren't you?

VIOLA DAVIS, ACTRESS: I was prepared for it and then I was not prepared for it.

ELAM: Meaning what?

DAVIS: Meaning that, listen, I mean, the last Oscars, everyone thought I was a front-runner and sure thing and it did not happen. So I don't bank on anything. I thought to myself, I have to have something prepared if I go up there.

ELAM: And you had the best speech of the night. We want to say congratulations and enjoy the rest of the night.

Oscar winner, Viola Davis.

DAVIS: Thank you.

ELAM: Have a great night. Thank you. There she is, basking in her golden glow. Obviously, her night going

pretty much as predicted. People pretty much assumed going into this, the best supporting actress win would be Viola Davis's for her portrayal in "Fences." That was what was expected.

On the other hand, there was a movie a front-runner, "La La Land," and many thought it would be the best picture winner. Then they were announced and then they weren't the winner and "Moonlight" was the winner, a big snafu. In case you missed it, take a look back at what happened.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: And the Academy Award --

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: -- for best picture --

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: You're awful. Come on.

"La La Land."

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: We lost, by the way.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I'm sorry. There's a mistake. "Moonlight," you guys won best picture.

(APPLAUSE)

(SHOUTING)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: This is not a joke.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: This is not a joke. I'm afraid they read the wrong thing.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: This is not a joke. "Moonlight" has won best picture. "Moonlight," best picture.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ELAM: So there's that moment.

Here, outside the governor's ball, I caught up with some gentleman who starred in "Moonlight" to ask them about that moment, and this movie they won in 25 days, could walk away with the best picture win. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ELAM: When they said, this is wrong, "Moonlight" actually won, what did you guys think?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: It seemed as if it was a joke, Jimmy Kimmel. I'm like, that's the most di disrespectful joke you could play on somebody, but ok or it was like when "Moonlight" is the real winner, they were paying homage.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Yeah. But then it was real. That was the most unique moment.

ELAM: They say this is the movie that could that has now won best picture, Barry also getting an Oscar as well. Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: And Marshall.

ELAM: What does it mean for you to have this moment with the movies and Oscars?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: It means the industry and world is moving forward in a direction that's fantastic. I mean the fact that a movie made 1$1.5 million in 25 days with no movie stars and an all-black cast won an Academy Award for best picture.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ELAM: So they're still in a little bit of shock, a little bit of a daze as well this is happening, they've won. They're soaking it up and enjoying it. Still a very bizarre night. And a lot of people that watched this show tonight will not forget for a very long time.

WALKER: My heart is still beating out of my chest. I'm still recovering from watching that video over and over. It's so uncomfortable and chaotic and bizarre.

ELAM: It's bad for everybody.

WALKER: I'm sure that's what everybody will be talking about at the governor's ball.

Stephanie, thanks so much.

[01:35:04] VAUSE: Great work, Steph. Thank you.

Let's go to our panel.

We had three Academy Awards for "Moonlight," a movie with an all-black cast, dealing with issues with the African-American community, beating out an all-white movie of singing and dancing.

Marilu, what does this say about diversity?

MARILU HENNER, ACTRESS: It's moving in the right direction. Last year was such a shock to everybody, the whole Oscars are so white. People were more conscious about it, the voters for the academy. What's great about -- I mean, what's great about what's happening politically is people are banding together, becoming more conscious. Everyone's talking about it. I think the kids, the high school kids, college kids are much more aware what's going on in this country and might not have been before.

WALKER: How do we bring about lasting change, something more meaningful seeing more diverse faces, not just winning the Academy Awards, more diverse faces on the big screen? How do we allow that to happen, doesn't it start with casting?

SUGEN ODUOLOWU, ENTERTAIMENT JOURNALIST: It's the opportunity from the studios, how many black heads of studios are there? How many women heads of studios are there? If you want to see the face you see in the mirror represented in films, it has to see those faces in positions of power, not just casting, not just screen writing, not just cinematography. All 360 from behind the camera to in front of the camera to in the boardroom. I am tired of the old Hollywood mentality, if I cast these kinds of actors nobody will see my movie. I hate to use the "Madea," it's number one at the box office and every weekend he drops a new movie. Give the artist a chance to show themselves, give all people, stop letting white actors play Asian roles or stop rewriting roles and saying, I don't think a black guy would work there or making ancient Egypt, English. Come on!

(LAUGHTER)

ALICE MALONE, CORRESPONDENT, FANDANGO: There's so much backlash that happens with the whitewashing. We immediately follow it on social media and there's a repercussion. Then you get hashtags not to go to the movie and that in the end affects the bottom dollar in the box office. I think Hollywood is learning if it's not the right thing to do, which it is the right thing to do, they will look at the bottom line and see how much it hurts their pocketbooks.

HENNER: Look how much "Hamilton" has changed Broadway. People want diversity. You would have never seen that before. A musical about the founding fathers.

VAUSE: Louis, I'm wonder if all the controversy about the past two Academy Awards, Oscars So White and no actors of color or minority actors nominated for stellar roles essentially snubbed, given all that controversy does that impact how the people in the academy think about their vote, I don't want to take away anything that went out tonight, to "Moonlight" and actors in the movie. Did "Moonlight" win because of the controversy last year?

LOUIS VIRTEL, TV WRITER & COMEDIAN: I would think not. I personally think it's a tremendous movie and a unique movie. I would hope Oscar winners think not only does this movie have the merits to win best picture. It represents something new and that's an artistic triumph in itself. When you look at the list of roles of people of color we have given Oscars to in the past, it's a lot of people like maids and subservient roles and they serve as a timeline how we've been traditionally welcoming people of color. You have a movie like "Moonlight," roles we haven't seen before, they aren't maids and we should be extra aware of its merits as a film.

WALKER: Mahershala Ali, who won the best actor for "Moonlight," he just reacted to this crazy mix-up that happened. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAHERSHALA ALI, ACTOR: It threw me a bit. It threw me more than a bit. I didn't want to take anything from somebody. It's very hard to feel joy in a moment like that, you know. Because somebody else -- in front of them. I feel very fortunate for all of us to have walked away with the best picture award. It's pretty remarkable.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Alicia, that does sum it up in many ways, you have to feel joy after something like this happened.

[01:40:00] MALONE: Yeah. It's kind of a shock when you see that clip and Jordan Harrowitz (ph) says it's "Moonlight" and they don't get their magical moment, shock in the room, not that joy one deserves, but on the other hand it is a movie we will be talking about a long time and hopefully that means people will go check out "Moonlight" to see what this fuss is about. You can see it both ways. I felt bad for the cast in that moment. That clip is hard to watch.

WALKER: Yeah. I wish we could stop playing it, but we kind of --

(CROSSTALK)

WALKER: About the academy, as we're talking about diversity, the academy has made some efforts to diversify the membership. The "L.A. Times" was reporting in 2012, 94 percent of the 6,000 members of the academy were white, 94percent, 77 percent male, and the median age, 62.

Louis, can you speak to this and some of the changes that are coming?

VIRTEL: When you talk casually with people obsessed with the Oscar, some waiting for old white demographic to die off, that they are the ones that made the decision since the Oscars have been around. It's hard not to be cynical about that. The future speaking of what you were talking about before. It seems, thanks to people like Shaara Boone Isaacs, who helped transform the Academy Awards. In the future, we will have a more balanced voting block and hopefully reflected in the films they choose.

MALONE: It also reflects Hollywood as a whole, Hollywood has been a white man's club such a long time, way too long, no doubt there is systematic institutional racism and sexism that happens in Hollywood. And hopefully conversations like this will help it and films like "Moonlight."

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

WALKER: We are always on your side.

ODUOLOWU: Mahershala said it best, we're not here to take something from somebody. Oscars so White was not about saying you only had five black movies in a decade so now you have to have five black movies all the time.

WALKER: Right.

VAUSE: When we come back, on this special edition of NEWSROOM L.A., from elegant words to elegant dresses that rocked the red carpet, we're looking at Oscars top frocks and the statements.

WALKER: And John has some strong opinions on some of the dresses.

(CROSSTALK)

WALKER: We'll hear about it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALKER: Welcome, everyone. You could say this year's Oscars red carpet was all about style with substance.

VAUSE: Absolutely. Amid all the gowns and top designers, the annual Academy Awards fashion statement was also transformed this year into a political statement as well. You can see the blue ribbons on the dresses. We'll explain what that's about.

WALKER: In just a second.

For more on the best dressed and eye grabbers on the red carpet, we're joined by an eye grabber himself, celebrity stylist and fashion expert, George Kotsiopoulos.

Did I say it, right?

GEORGE KOTSIOPOULOS, CELEBRITY STYLIST & FASHION EXPERT: You did.

Kotsiopoulos, I like it. It rolls off the tongue.

[11:45:20] VAUSE: Let's start with the risk takers, the eye grabbers.

KOTSIOPOULOS: My biggest was Janel Monet (ph), has a personal style, wears black-and-white. She went over the top with a headpiece and choker on her neck. I think she looked great. It was over the top but it was right for the Oscars. It was a great combination of her style and the Oscars. A lot of times you don't do that.

WALKER: I thought, what is she wearing and the more I looked I enjoyed looking at the details of the dress.

Jessica Biel, she looked very statuesque and glittery.

(CROSSTALK) KOTSIOPOULOS: The dress on its own was nothing, a very simple dress. She added that tiffany choker, really made it impactful. I thought it was cool and she looked fantastic in it.

VAUSE: Who else?

KOTSIOPOULOS: Naomie Harris wearing a custom Calvin Klein gown. It was interesting, short, had a tail or train or cape. Super, super cool. Mi mismatched shoes. There was crystals around here and here. They were asymmetrical. I just didn't think it was right for the Oscars. For the "vanity fair" party but not the Oscars.

WALKER: What about best dressed? My favorite was Emma Roberts?

KOTSIOPOULOS: She was my top choice. I thought it was a great way of infusing modern and old fashioned. She looked gorgeous, and a great way to do the plunge.

VAUSE: And Emma Stone.

KOTSIOPOULOS: Emma stone, that's the dress you wear when you're going to win an award. In 20 years, it will be timeless, that look. You look at the bottom with all that beautiful fringe moving around, that gave it its fashion moment.

WALKER: Another fashion accessories were the ACLU ribbons, the blue ribbons celebrities were wearing on their dresses or tuxedos. A super woman, Carly Kloss (ph), she has an interesting story because she's married to a family member of someone in the White House. She's not married, dating. She's the girlfriend of Jared Kushner's brother.

(CROSSTALK)

KOTSIOPOULOS: I get annoyed when people say we shouldn't be talking about politics. Why? We'll all citizens and we all have opinions. My Instagram feed used to be just photos and now about politics. People are very involved and upset about everything happening now.

VAUSE: Everyone was wearing ribbons and you couldn't see the person. We aren't there.

There were a few, maybe four. Planned Parenthood and ACLU, a third one, I can't remember. How much of a political statement is this?

KOTSIOPOULOS: It's some type of message. You guys were saying earlier, some kid sees that little blue thing and say, what's that and google it and learn more. It's all about knowledge, the most powerful thing.

WALKER: As long as it doesn't ruin the outfit. Doesn't overshadow the dress.

(CROSSTALK)

VAUSE: George, thanks for coming.

KOTSIOPOULOS: Thank you very much.

WALKER: Thank you.

Next on NEWSROOM L.A., the White Helmets in Syria didn't make it to the Academy Awards, but still had a message for the audience. Details next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(WEATHER REPORT)

[01:52:53] WALKER: The war in Syria took center stage at this year's Academy Awards. The White Helmets won the Oscar for best short subject documentary. It portrays work of the White Helmets, or Syria's civil defense, and their mission to rescue civilians in Syria's civil war.

VAUSE: Members of the White Helmets tried to attend the ceremony weren't able to get there. The film's director sent a message from someone accepting the award, calling on people to stop the bloodshed in Syria and around the world.

The White Helmets wasn't the only Syria film up for an Oscar. Another documentary, "Watani, My Homeland," was also nominated.

VAUSE: It's the story of a Syrian family escaping the war, and the mother in the film attended the Oscars.

Atika Shubert has details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's not the gun battles or violence that draws you into the film "Watani, My Homeland." It's the quiet rhythms of life in the midst of war.

(EXPLOSION)

SHUBERT: This woman lived on Aleppo's front line. Before them, the relentless snipers of the Syrian regime, behind them, the death squads of ISIS>

Her journey with four children from Aleppo to Turkey to Germany was captured in the documentary. Despite the daily shelling and gun battles, the family refused to leave for years until their father, a rebel commander with the Free Syrian Army was captured by ISIS.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

SHUBERT: The film shows the children offering tearful good-byes as they leave the streets of Aleppo and how they keep their resolve in the tented camps at the Turkish border. Even as they bring their trauma with them, the youngest, Sarah, still running in fear from planes.

The camera follows them through the cobbled street in Germany where the family lives now in Germany. The children quickly made friends at their new home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's go. A big, big world.

SHUBERT: She cried when the Oscar nominations were announced. She shows us photos of her celebratory breakfast with the filmmaker. She explains her husband always stayed up late to watch the Oscars, no matter what.

SHUBERT (on camera): So he loved movies, he loved films?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. And he knows every rifle, any weapon.

[01:55:16] SHUBERT: Hala knows her husband is probably dead Emma Roberts she still searches of photos of bodies for proof. The children, especially younger girls, still believe or hope that one day he may arrive at their door.

For now, Hala only hopes people will see the film to understand what she and millions of other Syrians have endured.

Atika Shubert, CNN, Germany.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALKER: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm Amara Walker.

VAUSE: I'm John Vause.

Please stay with us. We have a lot more from the Academy Awards after a short break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)