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Beatty-Dunaway Beefing May Be Behind Best Picture Bungle

89th Annual Academy Awards - Show
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[Bonnie and Clyde trailer voice]: They’re old, they kind of hate each other, and they read envelopes.

Since Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway mistakenly announced La La Land as the recipient of the Academy Award for Best Picture on Sunday night, everyone’s been looking for an answer as to how such a massive goof could come to pass. Blame has been passed around like a hot potato, with fault assigned to Beatty, Dunaway, some tweeting nitwit from the accounting firm that tabulates the votes, the person who lays down the envelopes, and just for good measure, a cold and uncaring god. But now the trenchant, Spotlight-esque journalists at TMZ claim to have the full story behind just what went down.

A new exclusive from the reputable pop-culture gossip rag cites unnamed sources stating that the two aging stars beefed during the Saturday dress rehearsal over who would actually have the privilege of reading the winner. TMZ describes the process as “contentious from start to finish,” claiming that Dunaway and Beatty wouldn’t even run through their walk onstage together. TMZ’s working theory over the colossal mix-up hinges on discord between the stars: Beatty realized it was the wrong envelope, paused because he was confused, and Dunaway took that as an opportunity to jump in and say the name of the movie she saw printed on the card. (Beatty and Dunaway’s people had no response to the TMZ item.)

This is quickly turning into our generation’s Zapruder film, as we repeatedly comb the footage for clues and unnoticed details. Perhaps, a century from now, scholars will finally unravel the mystery of what actually happened. But for now, all we can do is be grateful that we’re living in a world where Moonlight is named the Best Picture of the year.

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