"That was quite a thing, huh?"
That's how La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz reacted to the Oscars' Envelopegate: the moment his film was mistakenly awarded Best Picture, before it was revealed that the wrong movie had been read off and Moonlight had actually won the night's biggest award.
"It was a difficult situation, there's no doubt about that," Horowitz told ET on the red carpet of the post-Oscars Governors Ball. "But listen, things get thrown at you and you've got to kind of roll with it. And as I said, I was deeply happy to be able to give it to those guys. It really…I don't know. It's shocking, and I'm at a little bit of a loss for words."
Though differing stories have been batted around in the wake of the Academy's snafu -- Warren Beatty said he was handed Emma Stone's Best Actress envelope, Stone herself said the envelope was on her the entire time -- Horowitz's account seems to back up Beatty and reports that there were two sets of identical envelopes.
"There suddenly appeared a guy on the stage, you know one of the guys with the headsets and he started looking for the envelope, because it felt like something was wrong," he recalled. "I don't think anyone really knew, because we were still sort of having our celebration and accepting and he asked from the envelope that I was holding, that I had been given when I walked up there.
"He opened it and it said, 'Emma Stone, La La Land.' How that happened, I have no idea," he continued. "Then a search for the correct envelope, I guess, started happening...It just sort of appeared in his hand and it said Best Picture on it and he opened it and it said Moonlight."
In the end, Horowitz proves as big a class act offstage as he did when he graciously handed over the top honor live on air. "We've become incredibly close with those guys and, honestly, it was an honor to be able to give it to them," he said. "I'm looking forward to finding them and giving them big hugs again."
After the mix-up, Moonlight director Barry Jenkins tweeted his gratitude for how Horowitz handled the awkward situation. "Jordan Horowitz. Wow. I'm slipping slowly into reflection, perspective. Much respect to that dude," Jenkins wrote.
"Thank you, Barry. Congratulations and much love," Horowitz responded.
Thank you, Barry. Congratulations and much love. ❤ https://t.co/BSwk9T6Si4— Jordan Horowitz (@jehorowitz) February 27, 2017
"Humbled. And once again: congrats to Moonlight," Horowitz later tweeted. "A truly beautiful picture made by some even more beautiful people."