It was the flub heard around the world.
Acting legends Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty--on hand at the Oscars to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Bonnie and Clyde--announced the wrong winner for best picture.
In what will no doubt be remembered as one of the most uncomfortable five minutes in Oscars history, the elated cast and crew from La La Land made its way to the stage to accept the award--only to discover their film was not, in fact, the winner.
As the film's producers delivered heartfelt acceptance speeches, a stagehand scurried toward them clutching an envelope containing the correct winner: Moonlight.
Dunaway and Beatty had been handed the wrong one.
The stars onstage were disoriented, those in attendance were in shock, and the internet had a field day analyzing and reanalyzing the onstage drama.
But as messy as the debacle may have appeared, there's actually a lot we can learn from how the situation was handled.
Here are a few "Oscars Implosion" takeaways that can be applied to any onstage emergency.
Own your mistake
Once it was clear things were headed downhill, Warren Beatty stepped back to the mic.
"I want to tell you what happened," he said. "I opened the envelope and it said, 'Emma Stone, La La Land.' That's why I took such a long look at Faye and at [the audience]. I wasn't trying to be funny."
Beatty was right in attempting to explain himself. Sure, his reaction could read as defensive, but had he remained silent, both the live audience and at-home viewers would have continued watching the meltdown unfold without any idea as to what was going on.
When you're onstage, no matter how large or small your audience is, you lose the luxury of resolving things quietly or in private.
Did you misquote someone or pronounce something incorrectly, only to realize your error after the fact?
If your mistake was serious enough to undermine your credibility moving forward, take the time to correct yourself, apologize, and then move on.
PriceWaterHouseCoopers--the firm responsible for tabulating the results and keeping them confidential--immediately issued a statement owning up to their mistake.
They apologized to all parties involved and thanked Dunaway, Beatty, and Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel for handling the uncomfortable situation.
While the drama was unfolding, La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz stepped up to the microphone to clear the confusion.
"I'm sorry, there's a mistake. Moonlight, you guys won best picture." He continued, "This is not a joke," he said, gesturing to the Moonlight cast and producers and inviting them onstage.
Both Horowitz and the rest of the La La Land cast and crew had just received the thrill of their lives--only to have it snatched away from the moments later.
Given this all happened onstage in front of millions of people, each of them acted with impressive tact in accepting Moonlight as the rightful winner and praising the competing film's merit.
Perhaps the person who introduced you got your title wrong. Or maybe they gave your "Employee of the Month" award to Hank from accounting by mistake.
Either way, stay positive. Don't let the audience see you sweat, and don't create conflict that will only serve to embarrass everyone involved.
Add some humor
If only we could all be Jimmy Kimmel. The Oscars host stepped into the debacle with some much needed levity:
"Guys. This is very unfortunate, what happened," he said before offering this iconic reference: "Personally, I blame Steve Harvey for this."
If the setting is appropriate, a little humor can address the elephant in the room and diffuse tension building in the audience.
Make a friendly joke about the crying baby in the audience or the technical difficulties interfering with your presentation. It will make everyone, including yourself, feel more comfortable.
So things didn't go as planned. If Moonlight producer Barry Jenkins can hop onstage after losing and winning the Oscar for Best Picture in the course of five minutes, you can push through your onstage crisis, too.
The setting may not always be perfect, but confidence, poise, and perspective can go a long way when navigating an onstage emergency.