Al Pacino Addresses Bizarre Oscars Moment: 'There Seems To Be Some Controversy'

Just this once, Al Pacino will let people ask him about his business.

The “Godfather” star was front and center Sunday at the Oscars presenting Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” with the best picture award, but caused confusion by opening the winning envelope without first naming the other nine nominated contenders — a list that included “Poor Things,” “Barbie,” “The Zone of Interest” and more.

“There seems to be some controversy about my not mentioning every film by name last night before announcing the best picture award,” the 83-year-old actor told Variety in a statement Monday.

“I just want to be clear it was not my intention to omit them,” Pacino continued, “rather a choice by the producers not to have them said again since they were highlighted individually throughout the ceremony.”

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences typically has the presenter for Best Picture list each film before announcing the winner, and while the ceremony is always changing — and started an hour earlier this year — many were baffled by Pacino.

He not only omitted nine of the 10 films, but named the winner with unexpected nonchalance.

“Only one will take the award for best picture, and I have to go to the envelope for that, and I will. Here it comes,” Pacino said at the podium, as he opened his envelope and read from a card. “And my eyes see ‘Oppenheimer.’”

Pacino walked onstage to the score of
Pacino walked onstage to the score of "The Godfather" and widespread applause. Kevin Winter via Getty Images

This casual approach spawned quite a stir on social media from bewildered viewers.

“Did Al Pacino just mess up the biggest category of the evening???” one person wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, with another posting: “Al Pacino just going ‘uh yeah Oppenheimer’ lmaooo perfect ending no notes.”

Nolan and his wife Emma Thomas, who produced “Oppenheimer” and all his other films, were nonetheless ecstatic at the big win. “Oppenheimer” racked up seven awards Sunday, including Oscars in the acting category for Cillian Murphy and Robert Downey Jr.

Despite his viral presentation arguably dampening that triumphant moment, Pacino told Variety that he was “honored to be a part of the evening” — and simply “chose to follow the way they wished for this award to be presented.”