The 2017 Oscars left everyone shook when it was revealed halfway through La La Land's speech for winning Best Picture that the real winner was Moonlight. The public at large was baffled at how just a major mix-up could happen at the biggest award ceremony of the year, but internet sleuths soon detected that Beatty was holding the wrong envelope. This picture of the second Oscars Best Actress envelope is the key to determining what went wrong at the Oscars.
In the aftermath of the event, the internet immediately got to work trying to get to the bottom of what happened. Beatty told the Oscars audience that the audience had read "Emma Stone, La La Land", making it sound like he had the envelope for Best Actress in his hand instead of Best Film. However, Stone told reporters that she "was holding [the] Best Actress in a Leading role card the whole time." So how did Beatty end up bring the wrong envelope out on stage? Elementary, my dear Watson — there were always two envelopes.
The story behind Envelopegate begins with the security measures meant to guard the envelopes. According to MarketWatch, the team produces two of everything — briefcases, envelopes, cards — to ensure that they always have a backup.
However, it seems that a backup was used when it was no longer needed, resulting in the wrong envelope ending up in Beatty's hands. While that doesn't explain what happened to the Best Picture envelope and why it wasn't handed to Beatty, it's a crucial part of this Hollywood puzzle.
In any case, stop blaming Beatty and Dunaway, because this wasn't their fault.