Jimmy Kimmel Talks Epic Oscar Best Picture Flub, Says Warren Beatty Would Not Hand Over the Envelopes After
By Antoinette Bueno
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#Envelopegate is still happening.
Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel appeared on The Bill Simmons Podcast on Wednesday -- his first interview following the Best Picture fiasco -- when he talked about the shocking ending of the ceremony. The 49-year-old late-night host also revealed the last joke that was supposed to take place with Matt Damon, which was scrapped after the ensuing chaos.
"The plan for the last joke was -- the Best Picture winner is announced, they make a speech -- I was assuming the Best Picture was not going to be Manchester by the Sea," Kimmel explains about why he was pictured sitting next to Damon. "I said if it's not Manchester by the Sea, I'm going to be sitting next to [Damon], and it's going to be my revenge for the Emmys (when Damon teased Kimmel onstage at the awards show in September after Kimmel lost in his category)."
"I'd start wrapping the show up, but then the camera would widen, and we'd see that Matt would be sitting next to me and I would say, 'Well, you know, it's unbelievable, Casey [Affleck] won and Kenneth [Lonergan] won. There's only one person who didn't win tonight and it's you,'" he joked. "It would have been a nice little button to the whole night."
Of course, it quickly became apparent that something was terribly wrong.
"So, I really don't know what's going on, and I don't hear very well, so Matt picks up someone saying they have the wrong movie for Best Picture," he shares. "He says to me, 'I think they announced the wrong Best Picture,' and I said, 'What?' And he said, 'Yeah, I heard them saying that it's the wrong movie.' And I looked at Matt and I said, 'Well, I guess I better go out there,' and he said, 'Yeah, I guess you better.'"
Kimmel says Denzel Washington became the voice of reason in the chaos, and called for Moonlight director Barry Jenkins to rightfully give his acceptance speech.
"Nobody wanted to make a speech," Kimmel says. "It was so unclear what was happening. They kind of absorbed the fact they had won, but nobody took the next step of saying, like, 'Oh I guess now we have to make a speech now that we won.'"
Later, Kimmel inadvertently became part of a huddle with producers and executives trying to figure out what went wrong. Kimmel said presenter Warren Beatty continued to hold on to the two envelopes he was given backstage, to prove that the error wasn't his fault. Beatty, 79, also declined Kimmel's offer to appear on his show to explain his side.
"He did a very smart thing, and I was impressed by this. He kept those envelopes," Kimmel reveals. "He would not hand them to anybody. He showed them to people, but he would not hand them over. The two envelopes -- he kept both of them. Because that's the evidence, that’s the smoking gun there. As soon as you give those envelopes up, who knows who switches what out, and who knows what happened."
Meanwhile, the fallout continues following the epic Oscar fail. An Academy spokesperson told ET on Wednesday that the two PricewaterhouseCooper accountants responsible for the flub on Sunday night will not work the Oscars again. However, PwC said that Brian Cullinan -- who was identified as the person who gave Beatty and co-presenter Faye Dunaway the wrong envelope, and has since come under fire for tweeting just three minutes prior to the mistake -- and his partner, Martha Ruiz, will remain partners at the firm.