Oscars accountants involved in best picture mix-up won’t be back
The two accountants responsible for the shocking best picture mix-up at the 89th annual Oscars will not work on the show again, a spokesperson for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has confirmed.
According to the Associated Press, which first reported the news, academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs said the organization’s 83-year relationship with the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers remains under review.
PwC accountants Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz were in charge of the winners’ envelopes at Sunday’s ceremony, each holding a complete set on opposite sides of the stage. Cullinan handed presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway the wrong envelope for Best Picture, shortly after tweeting a photo (since deleted) of best actress winner Emma Stone. Boone Isaacs told the AP that Cullinan was distracted from his duties.
Beatty was visibly perplexed by what was the second best actress envelope naming Stone the winner for La La Land. He then showed it to Dunaway, who erroneously announced La La Land as the best picture winner. It was only after two minutes — and two and a half acceptance speeches — that the mistake was corrected and Moonlight was declared the real best picture.
The episode stunned Oscars attendees and those watching the broadcast.
Within hours of the blunder, PwC released a statement apologizing “to Moonlight, La La Land, Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and Oscar viewers for the error.” The firm followed up Monday, taking “full responsibility for the series of mistakes and breaches of established protocols” that caused the mix-up.
The academy was mum until Monday night, finally issuing a statement that said, “We deeply regret the mistakes that were made during the presentation of the Best Picture category during last night’s Oscar ceremony. We apologize to the entire cast and crew of La La Land and Moonlight whose experience was profoundly altered by this error. We salute the tremendous grace they displayed under the circumstances. To all involved — including our presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, the filmmakers, and our fans watching worldwide — we apologize.”
The academy also apologized Wednesday for mistakenly running a photo of a living producer during the Oscars’ annual In Memoriam segment.