Oscars Dump Accountants Blamed for Best Picture Blunder
The accountants responsible for the cringeworthy end to the Oscars on Sunday will never return to the Academy Awards.
Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, has revealed two staffers at accounting firm Price Waterhouse Coopers have been banned from future shows after Best Picture award presenter Warren Beatty was handed the wrong envelope as he stepped out onstage.
The relationship between the Academy and PwC bosses, who have tabulated the results since the 1930s, is also under review.
Boone Isaacs broke her silence over Sunday’s finale blunder on Wednesday, a day after Beatty called on her to make an official statement about the drama.
She told the Associated Press that PwC accountants Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz, who were responsible for the winners’ envelopes at the Oscars, were reportedly distracted backstage — Cullinan tweeted a photo of Best Actress winner Emma Stone minutes before handing Beatty the wrong envelope for Best Picture.
The actor/director was mistakenly given a back-up for Stone’s card, which suggested the Best Picture winner was Emma Stone for La La Land, and, mistaking Beatty’s confusion for comedy, his co-presenter Faye Dunaway glanced at the card and announced La La Land had won. Moonlight was the actual winner of the night’s final prize.
The producers, director and cast of La La Land were already onstage accepting the award when the error was announced. Producer Jordan Horowitz graciously beckoned Moonlight writer/director Barry Jenkins to the stage at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood once it became clear the wrong film had been announced.
Sources tell TMZ that Cullinan and Ruiz are “devastated” over the Oscars blunder. Both will keep their jobs at the accounting firm but they’ll have nothing to do with the Academy Awards moving forward.
The official Academy statement reads: “PwC Partner Brian Cullinan mistakenly handed the back-up envelope for Actress in a Leading Role instead of the envelope for Best Picture to presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. Once the error occurred, protocols for correcting it were not followed through quickly enough by Mr. Cullinan or his partner.”