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Coverage of 89th Academy Awards; Best Picture Mistakenly Awarded to "La La Land"; "Moonlight" Wins Best Picture Oscar. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired February 27, 2017 - 00:00   ET



[00:00:32] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to a special edition of NEWSROOM L.A. I'm John Vause.

AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Amara Walker. We are live in Hollywood with complete coverage of the 89th Academy Awards.

VAUSE: In the next three hours we will bring you the big winners, the surprise moments plus the latest reaction form the Oscar backstage.

WALKER: And we will also take you to the Governor's Ball where the celebrations are already under way.

VAUSE: And the awards are actually still going at this hour. So let's look at the winners so far. Just moments ago, Emma Stone won best actress for "La La Land". Casey Affleck won best actor for "Manchester by the Sea".

WALKER: Damien Chazelle won the best director Oscar for the musical "La La Land" and at just 32 years old, he is the youngest ever to win that award.

VAUSE: Mahershala Ali just became a new dad four days ago. Now he's also a first time Oscar winner. He won best supporting actor for his role in the movie "Moonlight".

WALKER: Another first time Oscar winner, Viola Davis. She won best supporting actress for her role in the film "Fences".

VAUSE: And here's some trivia, after 21 nominations, the most ever, Kevin O'Connell won his first Oscar for sound mixing for the movie "Hacksaw Ridge".

WALKER: Iranian director, Asghar Farhadi won the best foreign language film Oscar for "The Salesman". He boycotted the ceremony in protest of the President Trump's temporary travel ban which included Iran.

VAUSE: Ok. Well joining us now here: five-time Golden Globe nominee, actress Marilu Henner, entertainment journalists Segun Oduolowu and Samantha Schacher -- thank you guys for being here.

(CROSSTALK) WALKER: Also with us -- also with us is Fandango correspond Alicia Malone and TV writer and comedian Louis Virtel.

Marilu, I want to first start with you because you've been to the Oscars a couple of times. I mean this was a pretty fun Oscars to watch, wasn't it?

MARILU HENNER, ACTRESS: Oh my gosh, I think that Jimmy Kimmel is the new Billy Crystal. I don't think since Billy Crystal have we had a consistent host who just killed it every time. He was so comfortable. He was so easy, I guess it's his turf too because it's right across the street from where he has his show. And so that was really nice, you know. He felt like he knew the lay of the land.

And he was so easy that you didn't feel like there were any glitches. He was very smooth in the way delivered. And he's just got a great sense of timing. And I thought he was great and he was excellent.

VAUSE: This was the year when everybody was meant to be outraged at Donald Trump, Segun. And it seems that the only people who were outraged -- and we'll go into this later in the hour -- but just at the top of the show here, the only people who were outraged about Donald Trump were people in Iran.

It seemed that there just wasn't the protest, the anti-Donald Trump rhetoric that we had seen for most of the award season.

SEGUN ODUOLOWU, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: Well I think that when the President of the United States is consistently the butt of the jokes, you don't have to necessarily stand on the soap box and preach how much you dislike him or dislike his policies.

I thought that the actors took subtle well-placed jabs at, not only the administration, not only the foolishness and the bigotry that is the travel ban but they championed the arts which we know Donald Trump with his tweets about Meryl Streep being overrated and "Hamilton" being overrated and anything that disagrees with him being overrated and, you know, not special, I think that the actors championed the arts in such a way that the world can see they're not going to be silent during his four years in office.

HENNER: Right. And I think also Jimmy Kimmel who was very good at a lot -- you know, tweeting up, like you up?

SAMANTHA SCHACHER, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: He did it in a tongue in cheek way. But you also, to piggy back on your point, subtle moments -- you saw like Ava du Vernay. She specifically wore a dress that came from Lebanon, a country that she knew was a predominantly Muslim country. You saw a number of different actresses wearing the ACLU ribbons.

So just by having your attire reflect your political statements was another really subtle way that these actors and producers were able to get their point across.

WALKER: Well, we want to focus on politics in whatever next segments. But I want to get to what happened in the last few minutes. And Alicia -- I want to bring you in for that.

Were there any big surprises of the night? Casey Affleck just won best actor and it was really a tight race between him and Denzel Washington. What did you think about that?

ALICIA MALONE, FANDANGO: I really thought that Denzel was going to win because it's traditional that the winner of the SAG award goes on to win the best actor. I think it happened almost every year since 2003. So I was thinking that it was going to be Denzel's time for his third Oscar win.

But Casey Affleck got his second nomination and his first win for "Manchester by the Sea", which was a really brilliant performance, very understated, so much emotion there.

VAUSE: So Louis there was some speculation that maybe, you know, that lawsuit about sexual harassment against Casey Affleck may go against him but the Academy didn't care.

[00:05:06] MALONE: But also I think that --

VAUSE: Let's just go to Louis first.

HENNER: Oh, sorry.

LOUIS VIRTEL, TV WRITER: Pardon me. I heard more than anything that we expected some upset somewhere to happen. That we were going to have like, you know, all of these -- we kind of predicted Casey Affleck was going to win. We kind of predicted that Emma Stone would happen.

But there was like, these feelings you know, like maybe it will happen for Isabelle Huppert, maybe it will happen for Denzel Washington. I think what I'm surprised by more than anything is that none of those happened, particularly for Casey Affleck who it really seemed to be 50-50 at this point. So I thought if one of those was going to switch it was going to be Denzel but here we are.

VAUSE: You want to chime in on this too of Casey Affleck.

HENNER: Oh no. You know, what I was going to say is when you fill out one of these ballots, you know, whether it's for the Emmys or the Grammys you start to look like well, maybe I'm giving too much lover over here. And maybe there's too much of this. And maybe getting, and having Viola Davis win the best supporting actress, I think there is a psychology that people go through when they fill out a ballot. I really do.

ODUOLOWU: You know, that sounds like, well, we've given you all enough awards, so let me give to it Casey Affleck.

HENNER: You'd be surprised.


HENNER: You'd be surprised. ODUOLOWU: You know, it's like I've seen so many faces of color and immigrants on stage, let me get Casey Affleck, who doesn't get any whiter.

Listen, I'm all for -- I saw "Manchester by the Sea", I'm all for it. It is very understated, the performance, but Denzel in "Fences" --


ODUOLOWU: Denzel in "Fences" he got straight flat-out robbed by Casey Affleck. And by the way, can we please stop with white people winning awards that they think black people are going to win. Adele at the Grammys and now Casey Affleck saying to the black person that they beat -- you're my inspiration, like that makes it better. We lost, we feel bad.

VAUSE: Oh come on. At least --


SCHACHER: It's a sincere effort. But I will say, I was looking at social media before we sat down. And there has been some pushback against Casey Affleck winning because you mentioned that sexual harassment, the allegations prior to the Oscars.

But I'm upset about Isabelle Huppert not winning. That was my first introduction of her work. I know that she has a large body of work. I know a lot of people celebrate her as an actress. But I thought that she was fantastic and I do think that the Oscar should have -- even though Emma Stone was great, too.

WALKER: Are you guys surprised though --

ODULOWU: She could walk in with a t-shirt that said, my name is Isabelle Huppert and we would be like, "who?"

SCHACHER: Isabelle.

HENNER: That's the problem.

ODUOLOWU: I said Elizabeth -- shame on me. I'm sorry. Isabelle.

WALKER: There was so much hype though about "La La Land". And I think a lot of people they expected to see clean sweep for "La La Land". I think you have 14 nominations which, I guess, tied the record. Were you all surprised -- let me bring in Alicia about that -- I mean were you surprised that "La La Land" didn't get more, I guess, nods or wins tonight?

MALONE: I was because getting those 14 nomination and equaling that record, I really thought that there was a possibility that it might beat or equal the record set by "Titanic", "Ben-Hur" and "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" with 11 wins.

But it's only got six unless it wins this best picture which it possibly is doing right now. And that is nowhere near what I thought it would. But I'm glad that it won the categories that it did because I think that it is, know, the best song and score. But I was really happy to see "Manchester by the Sea" take original screen play.

WALKER: I still don't understand the whole "La La Land" hype. We were just talking -- I was just about to fall asleep. I mean I love musicals. I love music --

SCHACHER: I've seen it 12 times.

ODULOWU: It was the best -- it was the best musical nominated this year.


HENNER: No, I think that people want to have joy again, you know. I think people looking for something lighter. And also, we haven't seen a musical in a while.

WALKER: It was a little narcissistic.


SCHACHER: I think you're being a little harsh. I would have never fallen asleep in it. I do think it was great escapism from the political climate we're in but I don't think it should have -- I don't see it as nomination for big picture.

VAUSE: We just found it just won best picture.


ODUOLOWU: Oh my goodness.

SCHACHER: Over "Moonlight"?

VAUSE: Over "Moonlight".

ODUOLOWU: Nobody strokes their ego worse than the Academy or better than the academy. It was a movie about Hollywood for Hollywood people. It's so sycophantic. Ok, you know what, give it to them. But 14 nominations?

VAUSE: Louis can we just get you on that one. Louis -- what's your reaction though to "La La Land" winning? Was it deserved? I would have liked to seen "Moonlight" win because at least it was a movie and a story that we don't get to see that often.

VIRTEL: I mean not only do we not see stories like "Moonlight" often but one it's a story about people of color. Two, there are no white people in that movie which is very rare for a best picture. And third of all, it is a queer story which never happens in best picture. So I was hoping this would be a sort of a revolutionary moment for the Oscars.

Look, I don't dislike "La La Land". I liked a lot about it. To me it almost felt like a couple of white people reenacting their favorite chips (inaudible) commercial for about two hours. But I also thought it was entertaining for being just that.

[00:10:00] So I'm not terrified or mad that it won but at the same time "Moonlight" winning would have been so much more meaningful and rad.

WALKER: Or if not "Moonlight", "Lion". I loved that film.

SCHACHER: It was incredible.

So even (inaudible) many people didn't know who Mary Jackson was or Kathryn Johnson was and Dorothy Vaughn. It's a story that showcased these three women who are smart, who are breaking barriers racially and gender-wise. And to not see those type of movies celebrated, it's puzzling.

HENNER: And there's a momentum too.

ODUOLOWU: Well, to quickly piggyback off what Sam said, as a person of color -- shocking, I know. The fact that there are stories like "Hidden Figures" that don't get told. And I thought Viola Davis' speech which was -- it deserved its own Emmy, Oscar, whatever you want to give her.

HENNER: They say she's going to win the Emmy next year for that.

ODUOLOWU: She should and when she says really quickly that the best stories are in the graveyard, exhume the bodies of people whose dreams got deferred. That she would say that and here's a story about women who were living that got men into space, women of color in an era right now where that is such a challenging thing to be.

For them to be nominated to be recognized and for those stories to not be told as often as they should, I thought "Hidden Figures" --

VAUSE: Let's play -- take a look at a portion of Viola Davis' acceptance speech. This is part of what she said, "People ask me all the time, what kind of stories do you want to tell, Viola. And I say exhume those bodies, exhume those stories; the stories of the people who dreamed big and never saw those dreams to fruition, people who fell in love and lost."

And this really was the acceptance speech of the night. This was one of the highlights of the night that so many people are now talking about. Because, you know, we were all expecting these political anti- Trump we actually got this speech, which meant a lot more.

HENNER: Yes. Absolutely. I thought hers was by far the best.

Casey Affleck looked shock that he won. He looked like he hadn't even really prepared a speech or maybe he was doing something else, I don't know.

ODUOLOWU: That and the speech for best foreign language film, to have that speech read in absentia and the fact that he's a two-time winner now and could not be here or chose not to be here at the Oscars because of the travel ban, I thought his non-presence and the speech being read was as powerful as anything he could have said if he was there. That floored me.

WALKER: What about snubs of the night, Samantha. At least, let's talk about the best actress category because we were talking Emma Stone winning that one. I'm lamenting the fact that I don't think "La La Land" was that great. I don't know that it deserves all that praise. That's just my opinion.

But I mean was there anyone else that you really think should have won and was not recognized?

SCHACHER: As far as -- the one that just pops up in my head the most which I'm really disappointed in is best cinematography went to "La La Land". I thought "La La Land" was beautiful.

VAUSE: Sorry I need to interrupt.


VAUSE: Because we're just being told --


VAUSE: -- that apparently they read the wrong name.

HENNER: Oh my God.

ODULOWU: No. What?

VAUSE: "La La Land" did not win.


ODULOWU: Wait, "La La Land" didn't --

VAUSE: Apparently this is all that we got -- I just want to double- check. This is accurate. Are you guys messing with me?

WALKER: This is live TV.

VAUSE: This is live TV everyone.

WALKER: It's going on Twitter now.


VAUSE: The bottom line is they read out the wrong name.


HNNER: How could they do that?

VAUSE: I don't know. Apparently -- so it looks as if it was not "La La Land" which won best picture.

WALKER: I hope it is "Moonlight".

VAUSE: It is "Moonlight".

HENNER: It is "Moonlight"?

VAUSE: "Moonlight" just won.

ODUOLOWU: Yes. Oh my.

VAUSE: All that stuff we said about --

WALKER: Just a reminder --

VAUSE: -- missed opportunity and --


VAUSE: So Louis -- you're the expert on the Oscars. You've been to all the --

VIRTEL: Oh my God.

ODUOLOWU: Twitter is going nuts. Twitter is nuts right now.

HENNER: Wait how did somebody get the wrong card held up?

VAUSE: Louis.

VIRTEL: There's no precedent for this ever happening in Oscar's history. I can't think of a single time when there was even like someone even -- there used to be rumors that Jack Palance misread Marisa Tomei's name when she won. But that was debunked.

So this is like apparently a very extraordinary and strange moment. And also a triumphant one because "Moonlight" is fantastic.

MALONE: Yes. I'm so happy it won.

WALKER: I don't know that they went up to accept, they had to take the trophy away and say, this is not yours. I don't think it went that far.

But now, let's react to "Moonlight" being the winner.



HENNER: Like Steve Harvey.

ODUOLOWU: Yes, Harvey. Poor Steve Harvey.

VAUSE: Seriously, I mean, talk about this happening at the Academy Awards.

SCHACHER: I just hope it doesn't overshadow the win because "Moonlight", we all saw "Moonlight", an incredible picture and so socially relevant and addresses so many issues that people are dealing with today in the political climate as well. And it's a well-deserved win.

And Barry Jenkins is the --

VAUSE: So Marilu, we're now told that Warren Beatty apparently read the card that had the name on it. So that's how the mix-up happened. Does this take away from "Moonlight"?

[00:15:01] ODUOLOWU: Not at all

VAUSE: I mean there's a controversy over it now -- almost the biggest story.

HENNER: They'll be talking about it more.


ODUOLOWU: But it's great. Come on. "Moonlight" is a gay black movie, a queer black film. The odds of it winning are, you know, a million to one after last year's Oscars. The fact that it won, mistake or no mistake --

VAUSE: So the "La La Land" folks got up, they made their acceptance speech. They realized there was a problem. Now the "Moonlight" people are up there making their acceptance speech right now.

MALONE: A disaster.

ODUOLOWU: This is great.

VAUSE: But Louis when you figured out what happened over the last couple of minutes at the Oscars here in Los Angeles, these people actually get up there, give a speech, take the award, have it taken away from them -- what's going on? What's going through their minds right now?

VIRTE: All I can say is you couldn't script this. And it is surely for exactly that reason. I'm sure no one at "La La Land" is hurting because the movie is incredibly financially successful. It's sort of an iconic movie already. The images from it will probably last such a long time.

But I mean "Moonlight" winning this, I mean I can't imagine anybody at "La La Land" is like I'm so sad that "Moonlight" won best picture. You know what I mean. So -- I hope there's a congratulatory moment for all of them.

WALKER: But how do you skew that up? I mean I don't understand how -- because it's written on a card, right. I mean there are names written out and I'm sure it says, winner is in big caps. I mean how does that work and what does the card exactly say -- Marilu?

HENNER: There is a list and then you open it. Then you have it inside.

You know what I'm saying? You have the winner inside.

WALKER: I don't understand how that can happen.

VAUSE: Ok. The word is that Warren Beatty announced the film "La La Land" by mistake for best picture. The drama "Moonlight" actually won as we now know.

Beatty said he was given the envelope with Emma Stone's name on it for best actress for her performance in "La La Land" and read the title of the film by mistake.

ODUOLOWU: Deflect.

HENNER: There had to be some kind of a physical thing. It's not like they had all the list.

ODUOLOWU: I expect better detective work from Dick Tracy.

VAUSE: And now we kind of --


VIRTEL: Maybe Mrs. Miller.

VAUSE: But Alicia, to you, we had a situation not just this mix-up of best picture, but the director of "La La Land", he won for the academy both but they split it. You have best picture, "Moonlight", best director "La La Land" and that itself is also quite, unusual, right?

MALONE: Yes. That's really unusual. I'm in such a shock that they screwed that up. But I'm so happy for "Moonlight" and particularly happy for Barry Jenkins because I hope more people get to see this movie as a result of this Oscar win.

It's such a beautiful emotional, but so elegantly done. It looks beautiful as well. I'm really happy that he won. But that is so rare to have the best picture and then best director. And Damien Chazelle is now technically the youngest director of all time to win that category but only by like 200 days or so. He's also very talented. Hey my two favorite movies won. I'm excited.

VAUSE: Unless someone read out the wrong name for best director.

MALONE: Oh, let's hope not.

WALKER: For those of us who haven't seen "Moonlight". I'll admit that I actually haven't seen the movie although I lived in Miami for many years and I know exactly where it was filmed in Liberty City which, you know --

VAUSE: That doesn't make up for not seeing the movie. You realized that.

HENNER: It's about the movie. It's not about Google Map.

WALKER: You know, the graphics and what they're trying to represent.

But tell me a little bit about the movie, Segun. I mean it's about a black gay man growing up in a poor neighborhood.

ODUOLOWU: Well, it's a coming of age story. So you've got this kid that doesn't really fit in anywhere and the only love and affection that he's shown, one is by the character played by Mahershala Ali who is a gang member, who we find out in the movie -- I don't want to give anything away -- but is actually selling drugs to his mother who's played by Naomie Harris. And she gives this riveting, you know, monologue in the movie where, you want to take care of my son. You want to, you know, you want to figure out why all the kids pick on him? Are you going to love him? Are you going to raise him or are you going to keep selling me these drugs.

And that in itself is a picture of society that don't get to see, especially gay black culture. You don't see that very often. But his coming of age story of finding love and seeking out the only person that showed him affection, reconciling with his mother. It's very powerful.

I watched the screener being in the Screen Actor's Guild, you get the screeners. And I sat down I watched it with my fiance and we're sitting there and you're kind of like, you know, does this really go on? Because it's not necessarily a part of my life or a lot of people that I know but it is a part of society that needs light shed on it.

VAUSE: And it's a story that you never ever see in a Hollywood motion picture. It was done on a shoestring budget. It was, you know, one of the lowest budget movie ever win best picture.

Let's go to Stephanie Elam. She's standing by now at the Governor's Ball with more on this.

[00:20:03] So Stephanie, first, as there any reaction there to this mix-up at the Academy Awards over the best picture?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Everybody here is pretty much trying to pick their jaw up off the ground. You should have heard the gasps out here.

I should paint just a picture for you of where we are -- John and Amara. You see we're outside the Governor's Ball, right. So this is where all the winners have to come with their statuettes and they have to get their name put on their actual statuette. This happens here.

So where we're standing, we're outside of the Dolby Theater where this is happening. But you can hear the eruption of like, no, this is happening. From where I was standing I could see a monitor and I could see people moving on stage. and I'm like what is happening on stage?

So it already seemed weird but the fact that this has happened is obviously just very shocking and it's also sad for both films, right. You have people from "Manchester" who were like feeling let down now, right. And then you have the people from "Moonlight" who feel like their moment has lost a little bit of shine.

And it's all just a very upsetting moment right now for the people inside there but I think there is an attempt to try to have some class about how it was handled.

WALKER: Yes. We know everyone is going to be talking about that when they get there to the Governor's Ball -- Stephanie.

Just lay out the land for us, you know, what exactly happens at the Governor's Ball? Because this is the official after party for the Oscars, right. So all the celebrities, all the stars kind of start there, at least, if they do go on to other after parties?

ELAM: This is the place where it all gets going, so probably a very sleepless night here in Hollywood if I'm going to be honest about it -- Amara, it is true.

And what we're starting to see is that people are starting to make their way up. The theater's right behind where we are here.

And then they come up the stairs. They will come in here, maybe have a little libation, have some food courtesy of Wolfgang Puck, maybe have some chocolate as well, and party, right. Have a great time, listen to some great live music.

And again, this is where the winners will get their names put on their statuettes. So this is an important part of winning an Oscar. You have to come here.

And so this is why we're here to see if we can catch some of those stars who have won as make their way in or out here tonight.

VAUSE: Ok. Well, Stephanie -- keep us up updated with who you get nab or tackle or however you plan on doing it and we'll come back to you.

ELAM: Yes.

VAUSE: Stephanie -- thanks so much.

HENNER: Everyone eats.

VAUSE: Everyone eats.

HENNER: That's what everybody does. Everyone eats at the Governor's Ball.

WALKER: And Wolfgang Puck is, you know --

HENNER: And everybody has been starving to look good in their tuxedos and their gowns.

VAUSE: Everyone in Hollywood eats?


ODUOLOWU: Not only at the Governor's Ball but they drink at the "Vanity Fair". It's the party you want to be at.

WALKER: Have any of you been to any of these after parties, you know, following the Oscars -- Marilu.

ODUOLOWU: I've been to the "Vanity Fair" party.

HENNER: I'm waiting -- ready and waiting.

VAUSE: I'd be outside stalking.

WALKER: That sounds about right with you -- John.

ODUOLOWU: The "Vanity Fair" party is the one where people do let their hair down. And I will say that for me in my reporter mode, but to go and to be in there and to be at the bar and see, you know, I still get star struck. You have to be so jaded in this business not to appreciate these actors.

Some are small -- most are smaller than they appear on-screen. But when you sit there and you talk to them, you find out they're regular people and you get a few drinks in them and you find out they're really, really regular people.

HENNER: And they change clothes a lot of times, they change their dresses.

WALKER: Out of their ball gowns, they put on something more comfortable. Like actually, you go up to them and you say, hey, I watched your movie. I am in love with you or do you try and play it cool and say all right?

ODUOLOWU: Well, for me, I'm bigger than most of them so most of the time it's kind of like if I walk up to them --

HENNER: In size.

ODUOLOWU: In size -- I'm bigger in size, yes. Not in power but in size. But I mean, you know, if you say hi to them, it's one of those things where once you're inside the "Vanity Fair" party, everyone believes that you're supposed to be inside the "Vanity Fair" party.

So how you got in, whether you came through the front door or snuck through the kitchen, doesn't really matter as long as you're in --

WALKER: Play the part.

VAUSE: So Alicia and Louis -- to you guys who sort of are in the broom closet out there -- we want to bring you back into this. As far as these parties are concerned, this is the moment I guess everyone lets down their hair essentially and they celebrate, what, it goes until dawn? What happens?

MALONE: Yes. I think it goes for a long time because I've done the red carpet once before for the "Vanity Fair" party and I was there for hours because you're waiting for everyone to arrive and you're waiting for everyone to leave. And everyone just has such a good time and looks glamorous and that' where a lot of guests who don't get to go to the Oscars but are still famous and still working in Hollywood get to come and celebrate. VIRTEL: And I think also, what's awesome about the "Vanity Fair"

party is like reporters -- there's like only a few inside and they're scrambling around to get sound bites. And it's sort of like it's where celebrities can be around mostly other celebrities so if you get in to it like the amount of star gazing you get to do is like specific and unusual and awesome and intimate.

VAUSE: Are you saying it's a celebrity safe zone? It's a bubble for celebrities is what you're saying?


WALKER: Sounds like it.

VIRTEL: Say it once more.

[00:25:02] WALKER: Are the winners showing up with their Oscar awards and drinking, you know, they have a drink in one hand and the Oscar award in the other?

VIRTEL: Totally.

MALONE: And it's really great when you see that there's often an In- and-Out truck at the "Vanity Fair" party --

WALKER: That's amazing.

MALONE: -- Oscar in one hand, the In-and-Put burger in the other. That's great.


VAUSE: Go on Louis. Finish --

VIRTEL: Pardon me. Sometimes, when people go to these parties they literally use their Oscar as like their in. Like, don't even look for me on the list, I have an Oscar.

WALKER: It's a good idea, just get one made, right.

ODUOLOWU: Like the sound mixer -- you're like who are you sir? I'm this guy. Read the bottom.


VAUSE: Like a gold pass, let me in.

WALKER: All right. Well, we have to take a short break -- guys.

Still to come here on the show. And unprecedented mix-up and in the end, a triumph for diversity at the 89th Academy Awards.

More after the break.


VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.

WALKER: And I'm Amara Walker.

We have the headlines this hour.

Sources say the White House press secretary recently checked the cell phones of his aides in an effort to stop information leaks. We are told Sean Spicer asked his staff for their government and personal phones to make sure they were not communicating with journalists or using encrypted texting apps.

VAUSE: U.S. President Donald Trump is set aid to call for a big increase in military spending and cuts to several agencies including the EPA. Details will come when the White House issues the outlines of its budget proposal on Monday.

WALKER: The U.S. President is getting some advice from an unlikely source -- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iran's former president wrote a lengthy letter to Mr. Trump imploring him to respect all nations and cultures and to also respect women.

[00:30:07] VAUSE: Kim Jong-nam likely died within 20 minutes of being exposed to a nerve agent. The latest health minister says an autopsy shows his death consistent with VX poisoning and it would have been painful. VX is classified as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations.

Back now to our breaking news, a stunning mix-up at the Academy Awards. The acclaimed drama, "Moonlight," won Best Picture but in a unprecedented mistake, presenter Warren Beatty announced that the musical, "La La Land" had won. It wasn't until the makers of the film were on stage they realized "Moonlight" had in fact been awarded Best Picture.

It's still hard to believe that happened, hard to wrap my head around. Let's go back to the governors' ball, the official afterparty on Oscar night and our Stephanie Elam is standing by. She's there for the post awards celebration, I'm sure that's what all the buzz will be about there at the afterparty -- Stephanie.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, for sure, you're trying to wrap your head around it, Amara?

Trust me, there are a whole lot of people here trying to wrap their heads around what just happened. In case you missed what happened at the Oscars, the ending with the Best Picture snafu of who was being announced it and how it happened, let's play it back for you so you can see how it happened. Take a look.


WARREN BEATTY, ACTOR AND ACTIVIST: The Academy Award for Best Picture --

FAYE DUNAWAY, ACTOR: You're awful.

"La La Land."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) were standing on your shoulders.

We lost by the way but, you know.

BEATTY: I'm sorry, no.

There's a mistake.

"Moonlight," you guys won Best Picture.

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

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



ELAM: And, as you can see, take a look at that. The folks from "La La Land," super gracious when they realized that there had been this snafu and that "Moonlight" had actually won. Still not clear why Warren Beatty came out to apologize because we heard that they sort of did it together. Faye Dunaway actually was the one that said "La La Land."

So very, very shocking and obviously that's what everyone is talking about. Standing out here, just to give you an idea of what we've seen so far, we saw Octavia Butler from "Hidden Figures." We also saw Meryl Streep just walk in, neither of them taking a stop to talk to media, both going right inside.

I'm sure a lot of people are concerned about talking about what just happened there at the end of the show.

VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE), OK. Stephanie, I'll let you get back to it. (INAUDIBLE) get back down (INAUDIBLE) the Academy Award winners and see if they have anything to say about this horrendous mix-up at the end of the Academy Awards, which I think actually went quite smoothly --


WALKER: Up until the very --


VAUSE: The Academy Awards, the have gone down as lacking in diversity over the past couple of years, having the dubious labels, OscarsSoWhite, but not this year.

WALKER: This year, diversity has returned as you saw. And after Warren Beatty's stunning onstage snafu that we will continue to talk about for days and months and years after, they walked away with the ultimate prize.

"Moonlight," a coming of age film about a gay young black man was named Best Picture once it was discovered that Beatty mistakenly announced "La La Land" as the winner.

VAUSE: In the acting category, seven of the 20 nominees were African Americans. (INAUDIBLE) that Viola Davis won the Oscar for Best Performance by an actress in a supporting role in "Fences."

WALKER: For his role in the film, "Moonlight," Mahershala Ali received the award in the Supporting Actor category.

And the writing team of Barry Jenkins (ph) and Durelle McCraney (ph) won for Best Adapted Screenplay also for "Moonlight."

VAUSE: Back with us now, actor Marilu Henner and (INAUDIBLE) journalist Segun Oduolowu and Samantha Shocker (ph). (INAUDIBLE) correspondent Alicia Malone (ph) and TV writer and comedian, Louis Virtel (ph).

OK, thank you all for staying around and being here with us, (INAUDIBLE) now that we know "Moonlight" won --


VAUSE: -- and we've been quite critical of Hollywood (INAUDIBLE) this white, all singing, dancing musical that was awful --


VAUSE: -- really terrible movie. OK, so now that "Moonlight's" won, does this wipe the slate clean as far as Hollywood is concerned, for all of the discrimination that -- ?



VAUSE: -- in the past?



SEGUN ODUOLOWU, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: No, it doesn't. It doesn't erase some of the travesties that the Oscars have done. What I will say is #OscarsSoRight, this year they got it right. And it's not just -- people always confuse it. When that hashtag existed, #OscarsSoWhite, they thought it was a white-black thing.

But there weren't Asians and Latinos and they're still not there. There weren't people of color. It has nothing to do with it being black people or brown people, it's the absence of color, and that's what -- absence of diversity.

This year, you saw diversity. Listen, I'm a cynic in a lot of ways. And that first half of the show with Mahershala Ali winning and Viola Davis and you're putting as many colored faces that you can find in the audience and immigrants, people might think that was stunt casting. But that's what America really is. And I don't -- and I really want people to understand that it's not about a black person or a brown person winning instead of a white person, it's judge the art based on the art.

Now, how foolish does that sound because art isn't subjective and you can't really judge that way. But to eliminate or exclude people of color and women and people of different races from actually having the opportunity to participate, that's wrong. They got it right this year.


WALKER: I want to talk more about this diversity thing. I think you mentioned something important, Segun, and you're saying that Asians are not -- they're invisible. We don't see as many Latinos as well in Hollywood.

And, Louis, I want to bring you in for this conversation because I feel like -- and correct me if I am wrong -- but the problem of diversity in Hollywood begins with casting or these screenplays; there's a lot of whitewashing that goes on, I've talked about this a lot on our shows here at CNN about whitewashing, which is basically casting white actors into traditionally or historically non-white roles.

Case in point, Matt Damon playing a Chinese soldier in the movie called "The Great Wall," Louis.

So how do we meaningfully address the problem of the lack of diversity in Hollywood, period?

LOUIS VIRTEL, TV WRITER: I think the deal is you actually just -- we need just more creators of content who aren't white. And I mean that in all the versions of not white. Looking back at the history of the Academy Awards, you talk about, oh, did we finally handle this diversity issue?

Did we have enough diversity this year?

We had so many years at the Oscars with entirely white nominees and no one said anything about it, it's like when Ruth Bader Ginsburg talks about how many women need to be on the Supreme Court before it's enough.

The answer is nine. You already had -- you've had years where only white people were represented, just the way we've always had men on the Supreme Court.

So it's like why not have nine women if we've always had nine men?

I think the tide is still turning we still need to officially recognize that some years it should be -- the diversity should take over all the nominees. That opportunity should exist. (CROSSTALK)

VAUSE: The problem I have with this year's nominated movies, essentially that this is why "Moonlight" winning is so good, because it's a story you don't ever get to see up against "Hidden Figures," which was your classic cookie-cutter Hollywood story about heroic, color-blind white people helping African Americans, in this case three African American women, achieve their potential.

And it tends to be a story about what the white people did to help the black people, it's a story we heard a thousand times before.


ODUOLOWU: Yes, I disagree just a little bit in that the black people in "Hidden Figures"


ODUOLOWU: -- it wasn't that so much that the white people helped the black people achieve what they needed to be, it was that they got there together and the white people and the black people saw that there was merit in both people working together.

SAMANTHA SCHACHER, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: And it's not only that. You look at the films, when you have a film like "Fences," you are looking at two people of color who are portraying ordinary lives.

And I think when there needs to be more screenplays that push that agenda, where you're looking at people of color that are just ordinary as opposed to a black-themed film, right?

And I think that's the biggest concern when it comes to -- a number of the people that I've interviewed that feel that would help the Academy, that would help Hollywood.

Speaking of the Academy, we spoke a little bit about they're trying to diversify their members. They added 700 new members this year. However, it's still 90 percent white, it's still 73 percent male. So even with the addition of the diversity, it's still predominantly male and white.


VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) the fact that Viola Davis won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for that role in particular, given what she was portraying, is that even more remarkable in itself?

MARILU HENNER, ACTOR: First of all, it's a great piece of theater and she had already won the Tony and everything else. It's just great writing. And I think it really comes down to the writing. But let's face it, Hollywood also, it's about money.

So if a movie is going to, like "Hidden Figures" won box office for so many weeks and so that has a tremendous amount of impact on the kinds of stories that they might do about women in unusual circumstances rather than an ordinary one.


ODUOLOWU: But Marilu, if it was about money, "Madea" wins every opening weekend.


HENNER: Maybe next year.

ODUOLOWU: -- we come back, it can't be about money.

WALKER: -- Hollywood has a long way to go.


WALKER: I will be very excited to see Asians being cast in roles that are not so stereotypical. And I feel like that is the problem and I know we have to go.


VAUSE: U.S. President Donald Trump came up repeatedly during the ceremony. When we come back, we'll look at the political humor, some of the commentary which stole the show on Hollywood's big night.




WALKER: Welcome back, everyone.

Breaking news, a stunning mix-up at the Academy Awards, acclaimed drama "Moonlight" won Best Picture, but in an unprecedented mistake, presenter Faye Dunaway announced that the musical "La La Land" had won and it wasn't until the makers of that film were on stage speaking, giving their acceptance speech that they realized "Moonlight" had won Best Picture instead.

VAUSE: Sorry, Warren Beatty, we blamed you. (INAUDIBLE).

There was also a lot of political talk at the Academy Awards, host Jimmy Kimmel set the tone early, making fun of U.S. President Donald Trump.

WALKER: Also the Iranian director who won for Best Foreign Language Film boycotted the ceremony but he sent a statement attacking Mr. Trump's travel ban. And Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal spoke against President Trump's plan to build a border wall.

VAUSE: Back with us now, actor Marilu Henner, entertainment journalist Segun Oduolowu and Samantha Schacher and (INAUDIBLE) correspondent Alicia Malone an TV writer and comedian Louis Virtel. OK, there was a lot of expectation that this would be an anti-Trump fest because it happened in a lot of the award ceremonies leading up to the Academy Awards. Former governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, tweeted this out even before the show began.

"Watch celebs spew ignorant political venom at Oscars? No. Think I'd rather have a colonoscopy. Both happen from the same location."

Nice one. But Marilu Henner, it just didn't turn out that way.

So why wasn't it full-on Trump -- ?

HENNER: I think that Meryl Streep really said it brilliantly at the Golden Globes and I think that that started it and then we got the SAG Awards and things. And I think today with the ribbons and people -- and Jimmy Kimmel I think handled it very well. And then -- Meryl Streep, she got a standing ovation so I think there was enough of it. And I guess people didn't want -- and also I think because they had to talk so quickly, people didn't want to spend their time maybe taking...


SCHACHER: But Gael Garcia Bernal, he really was specific, though, when he went up there to present, he specifically said, I'm a migrant worker. I'm a Latin American and I'm a Mexican. And I do not -- I'm not a fan of the wall, I think that it's divisive rather than unifies us.

And you saw a number of people in the audience, some of his fellow actors and producers, stand up and give him a standing ovation. So I think that it was welcomed. But it's all in that tone. The tone of the Oscars is a lot different --


SCHACHER: -- than the Golden Globes.



WALKER: Alicia, I want to bring you in.

Did you think that the strongest or the most powerful political speech of the night was the fact that the Iranian director, Asghar Farhadi, boycotted the Oscars and instead the statement was read?

ALICIA MALONE, FANDANGO CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I thought that was extremely powerful. It's his second Oscar win and "The Salesman" definitely deserves to win. Best Foreign Language Film, it is emotional and heartbreaking and thrilling at the same time. And Asghar Farhadi, I thought he made the perfect statement by not wanting to come to the Oscars.

It was for a while it wasn't even sure that he could come to the Oscars. But he made that statement. And then before the Oscars, the foreign film directors actually got together and released a statement, saying that they stood with each other and how cinema can be an important way to bridge the gap between different people and different cultures, and I thought that was a really beautiful touch.

VAUSE: Also before the Oscars, there was a big turnout at Trafalgar Square in London. People turned up to watch the Iranian film, "The Salesman," which won. This was organized by the mayor of London -- in fact, thousands of people turned up.

I'm just wondering, it seems that there was more outrage, more protest over Donald Trump's travel ban, which is at least what people were protesting, than at the Oscars tonight.

ODUOLOWU: Unfortunately or fortunately, however you want to look at it, the Oscars are not really that place. It's a bunch of high-paid actors patting themselves on the back for their achievements. Like that's the last place you want to say anything really political --




WALKER: -- for decades, it's traditionally been where --


WALKER: -- Vanessa Redgrave used to as a spotlight to speak out against the Iraq War or speak for gay rights or what have you.

So don't you think the Oscars is kind of the perfect place where the celebs have been using to their advantage?

ODUOLOWU: I don't. I honestly look at it as, if you're a regular lay person and sitting in middle America or just sitting at home watching it and you see some millionaire get up there, winning a gold statue for something that is very subjective, which is art, say, and you know what, I don't really like this about the government, I think you can do it better.

Like with the Women's March, and you saw actresses on the same playing field as regular people, teachers and nurses and doctors and lawyers and you march and you're a celebrity, now you're showing me you're willing to forget your money, get out of your Beverly Hills mansion and put boots on the ground.


SCHACHER: A number of them do, though. I don't think it's fair to generalize and say just because they are a well-to-do very privileged actor giving a speech doesn't mean that they're also not letting their hair down on the front lines, like at the Women's March, I've seen people do both. And I think the Academy Awards, you have the second biggest audience compared to the Super Bowl. I think now is the time. If you have that big of a platform, if you

have that many people following you and watching you and you do have a statement that unifies people rather than maybe, say, a divisive statement, like what Madonna did at the Women's March, I thought that was the wrong way to speak your agenda.

But I think if you can do it in a way that galvanizes people, I think you absolutely should.

VAUSE: Louis, just to you very quickly, halfway through the awards ceremony, Kimmel actually sent a tweet to the U.S. president because he hadn't heard from him. But it was pretty simple.

It was like, "Hey, you up?"

At the risk of talking too soon, do you think Donald Trump is just simply over what happens at the award shows?

So he just doesn't care anymore?

Is that possible?


VIRTEL: I think our president has proven he is willing to be as petty as you think he can get. So I'm sure he is plotting a move or perhaps going to respond. Honestly, Jimmy Kimmel is like a strange person to have to respond to because he nails that level of Steve Martin, Dave Letterman type drollness, where it's just like he really is in charge of being funny. He really is funny and Trump is so contrived.

So I feel like him responding to Kimmel will take time to get right, maybe -- I'm praying he's weighing how to respond well and not make a fool of himself, not that he even cares about that.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think I'll put my money on him responding.

What do you --


VAUSE: -- about 3:00 in the morning.

Yes, OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe 5:00 in the morning.


VAUSE: Time to squeeze in another short break. When we come back, we're the only profession that celebrates what it means to like Viola Davis on her Oscar win for the Best Supporting Actress, elegant words at the podium, elegant dresses that rocked the red carpet. We're looking at the night's top frocks and some of the statements behind them.





WALKER: Welcome, everyone.

You could say this year's Oscars red carpet was all about style with substance.

VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) the glorious gowns from top designers, the annual Academy Awards fashion statement, also a bit of a political statement as well.

WALKER: You can see the blue ribbons there. But the stars kept it mostly subtle.

VAUSE: We're joined now by George Kotsiopoulos (ph). He's a (INAUDIBLE) stylist and fashion expert.

Thanks for being with us.

GEORGE KATIAPOULOS (PH), STYLIST: Thanks for having me.


VAUSE: Subtle?


WALKER: Some of the stuff was subtle but I didn't write that.


KATIAPOULOS (PH): You mean the political aspect -- ?


KATIAPOULOS (PH): No, I think we had a lot of over the top fashion. There were very few mermaid gowns, which is kind of like the go-to for easy dressing it's just like wearing a sweatsuit.

WALKER: Let's talk about the over the top fashion first because ---


VAUSE: We don't have time for the --

KATIAPOULOS (PH): All right. The top of my list is Janelle Monae in LA Saab (ph). Now she has a very specific look, she does her own thing, she's a musician and an actress. She still did her own thing. But I think that it worked. I thought it was a great look, it was wild, it was crazy. She had a crown, a headpiece, a big neckpiece and it was very her but it was also appropriate for the Oscars.

VAUSE: Is it hard to wear something like that?

KATIAPOULOS (PH): No. Not if you're Monae, that's what you wear.

VAUSE: Do people like getting in and out of cars?


KATIAPOULOS (PH): I just kept thinking, like is this scratching her neck?


WALKER: Anyone that gets near her and gives her a hug is probably going to snag their dress on her, there was all this -- bejeweled and sequined and --


KATIAPOULOS (PH): And there was (INAUDIBLE) Jessica Biel, who wearing very simple long-sleeved gold Koppin Franco (ph) gown --

VAUSE: Because I thought she looked like an Academy Award.

KATIAPOULOS (PH): I did, too. That's a good thing. That's a good thing. But she put this really big Tiffany choker on it. And I think that made the dress.


VAUSE: An actress who dresses up like an Oscar.

WALKER: I thought she looked like a goddess, almost like a Greek goddess kind of look --

(CROSSTALK) KATIAPOULOS (PH): -- like Vanna White on whatever that show is with the letters, without that necklace. But with that necklace, it just made it.


KATIAPOULOS (PH): And then, there was Halle Berry (INAUDIBLE) Versace.

WALKER: Why was that so risky, you think?

KATIAPOULOS (PH): That hair.

WALKER: Oh, the hair, OK --


KATIAPOULOS (PH): But big curly, fluffy hair.


KATIAPOULOS (PH): But I just don't think that looked polished, I think it looked not very Academy Awards. I think that could have been done in a way where it was just a bit more --

VAUSE: Risk-taking didn't quite get it.

WALKER: Subtle.

KATIAPOULOS (PH): I think so. I don't know.


KATIAPOULOS (PH): They love it but it looked like -- just it was a little bit -- you know, there's messy. There's like that --


KATIAPOULOS (PH): -- sexy, unkempt look and then there's just messy. And that was messy.

WALKER: I think Halle Berry looks perfect whatever she does.



Best dressed?

WALKER: Best dressed.

KATIAPOULOS (PH): The two Emmas, I think for sure. Emma Stone was in Givenchy and Emma Roberts was in --

VAUSE: Let's start with Emma Stone first.

KATIAPOULOS (PH): Well, Emma Stone was -- I just, you know, it was great; it was gold, it was -- had unexpected fringe detail at the bottom. It was excellent when she walked. And this is the award that you get -- or the dress that you wear when you're holding your award because it's classic, it looks elegant.

Emma Roberts, I thought, just looked really sexy but youthful.

WALKER: That plunging neckline, yes.

KATIAPOULOS (PH): Yes, that plunging neckline was perfect for her chest but I loved the old Hollywood hair. It was very youthful and old-fashioned and modern.


VAUSE: 30 seconds.

KATIAPOULOS (PH): Viola Davis, Viola Davis.

VAUSE: In the red

KATIAPOULOS (PH): In the red, nailed it. I think that was custom Armani and she just looked so beautiful in color, it just fit her perfectly. I loved her hair. Everything was great about her.

WALKER: She was the woman of the night.


WALKER: Her dress and speech was beautiful.

KATIAPOULOS (PH): Always. Her speeches are always great. When she talks about the two little girls playing tea, I love that.


VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) fantastic. Thank you so much.

KATIAPOULOS (PH): Thank you, guys.


WALKER: All right. That's our time, everyone. Thanks for watching. Our special edition if CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles, I'm Amara Walker.

VAUSE: I'm John Vause. We will be back with a lot more of our coverage of the 89th Academy Awards, complete with mix-up for the Best motion Picture. You're watching --

WALKER: Going down in history.