What happened? The auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, which handles the Oscar balloting, has issued an apology after the awards’ monumental mix-up, when the wrong movie was announced as the winner of Best Picture.
In a colossal gaffe that pretty much overshadowed the celebrity event of the year, presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway mistakenly announced La La Land as the winner, when the trophy was to go to Moonlight.
The entire cast of the musical took the stage and several members of the cast and crew gave their acceptance speeches before they realized there had been an error.
But it wasn’t the presenters’ fault, and in the early hours of Monday, February 27, the accounting company issued a statement apologizing for the flub.
“We sincerely apologize to ‘Moonlight,’ ‘La La Land,’ Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and Oscar viewers for the error that was made during the award announcement for Best Picture,” it read. “The presenters had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope and when discovered, was immediately corrected. We are currently investigating how this could have happened, and deeply regret that this occurred.”
They added: “We appreciate the grace with which the nominees, the Academy, ABC, and Jimmy Kimmel handled the situation.”
Ironically, PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz had spoken to the Huffington Post about the exact — then hypothetical — situation just days before the Academy Awards.
They’d said no procedure was in place because that mistake had never happened in the Oscars’ 89-year history.
They insisted the situation was “so unlikely” to happen, but that if it did, they’d do everything they could to make sure the correct person or movie was known “very quickly.”
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!