March 1 (UPI) -- Oscars telecast producer Michael De Luca compared Sunday's Best Picture mix-up to the Hindenburg, a passenger airship that burst into flames as it attempted to dock in 1937.
Presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced La La Land had won the evening's top honor after being handed the envelope for the Best Actress Award, which had been presented to Emma Stone moments earlier. After the cast and crew of La La Land took the stage, it came to light Moonlight was the rightful Best Picture Oscar recipient and that group of artists stepped forward.
"I heard [fellow producer] Jennifer Todd next to me," De Luca recalled for KCRW's The Business radio show in an interview to air Thursday. "It was like the Hindenburg report. I literally heard: 'Oh my God! He got the wrong envelope!' And then it was slow motion. You perceive things slowly as the adrenaline rises and the cortisol floods your system."
The New York Post said tension between Beatty and Dunaway may have also contributed to the series of events that led to the awards-show disaster.
The newspaper cited an unnamed source as saying Beatty was unhappy about presenting the award with Dunaway and "refused to let his rehearsal be filmed, which they needed to block out the entire show properly."
The former Bonnie & Clyde co-stars also reportedly fought over who would read the winner's name and from what point they would enter the stage.
"It is no secret that there is no love lost there," the insider said. "Both nearly balked at doing it together at all."