As the host of the 2017 Oscars, Jimmy Kimmel was responsible for setting things straight following the envelope mix-up that resulted in La La Land being announced as Best Picture instead of Moonlight. However, in a recent interview with People, the late-night pundit revealed that it was Denzel Washington who helped him find his bearings in the midst of the tricky situation.
“I was sitting with Matt Damon (in the audience), and when we determined that something was awry, I thought somebody’s gotta go up there and say something,” Kimmel said of the moment La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz announced Moonlight as the true winner. “I thought, ‘Oh, I’m the only one who has a microphone on, so it should probably be me.”
Kimmel went on to explain how Washington prompted him to allow Moonlight director Barry Jenkins to properly accept the award.
“I strolled up onstage, looked around to see what was happening and made a couple of jokes to try to settle things down,” he said. “Denzel Washington actually gave me a signal to let the guys from Moonlight speak, which made sense. Luckily Denzel was thinking, because I really wasn’t…It was like I was walking around in a dream.”
Kimmel is also the host of this year’s Oscars ceremony, which will air Sunday at 8 p.m live on ABC.