The Academy is doing everything in its power to avoid #EnvelopeGate2018. The PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants responsible for the embarrassing best picture flub at the 2017 Oscars will not be invited back to the annual awards show, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs confirmed to the Associated Press on Wednesday, March 1.
Though Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz will not work with the Academy in the future, the decision will not affect their employment at the multinational firm, a PwC spokesperson confirmed to Variety. Boone Isaacs, meanwhile, told the AP the Academy’s relationship with PwC, which has been in charge of tallying Oscar winners for more than eight decades, “remains under review.”
Cullinan and Ruiz were the two members of PwC entrusted with protecting the winners’ envelopes on Sunday, February 26. As viewers now know, Cullinan erroneously handed presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway the best actress envelope before they took the stage at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre to announce the winner of best picture. Because of the mix-up, Dunaway incorrectly told the audience that La La Land won the top prize of the evening when, in fact, Moonlight was the winner.
“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,” PwC said in a statement to Us Weekly early Monday, February 27. “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. We appreciate the grace with which the nominees, the Academy, ABC and [host] Jimmy Kimmel handled the situation.”
It was later revealed that Cullinan was apparently distracted backstage, where he tweeted (and later deleted) a photo of best actress recipient Emma Stone shortly before handing Beatty the incorrect envelope. The shocking snafu has since been regarded as the “biggest blunder in the 89-year history of the Academy Awards,” the AP noted.
Boone Isaacs told the AP that “the last 90 seconds” the live broadcast overshadowed “the most brilliant and wonderful show.”
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