PwC Partner Brian Cullinan Tweeted Pic With Emma Stone Minutes Before Oscars Mix-Up

Is this our #EnvelopeGate suspect?! A partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers named Brian Cullinan may be to blame for the Oscars Best Picture mix-up, the Wall Street Journal reports. According to the paper, Cullinan tweeted out a photo of Emma Stone backstage after she accepted the award for best actress for her performance in La La Land, minutes before he handed Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway the card that led Dunaway to incorrectly announce La La Land as the Best Picture winner.

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Brian Cullinan
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone with Brian Cullinan during the 89th Annual Academy Awards in 2017. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

His since-deleted tweet of Stone was posted at 9:05 p.m. PST — approximately three minutes before Best Picture was announced — and read, “Best Actress Emma Stone backstage! #PWC.” Cullinan also deleted a series of other tweets from the awards show, but his partner, Martha Ruiz, has continued to post photos from the carpet on her Twitter. 

Tim Ryan, the accounting firm’s U.S. chairman and senior partner, told Variety in a statement that Cullinan feels awful about the mishap. “He feels very, very terrible and horrible,” Ryan said. “He is very upset about this mistake. And as a firm, given that he is a partner of our firm, it is also my mistake and our mistake and we all feel very bad.”

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Brian Cullinan
‘La La Land’ producer Fred Berger (right) speaks at the microphone as production staff and representatives from PricewaterhouseCoopers, Martha L. Ruiz (far right) and Brian Cullinan (center), consult behind him regarding a presentation error of the Best Picture award (later awarded to ‘Moonlight’) on stage during the 89th Annual Academy Awards. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

According to the report, Cullinan handed Beatty a duplicate of the best actress envelope, which read Emma Stone La La Land, instead of the Best Picture card, which read Moonlight. WSJ reports that PwC had no comment on Cullinan’s tweets. In a statement on Sunday following the snafu, the firm shared, “We are currently investigating how this could have happened, and deeply regret that this occurred.”

After La La Land’s Jordan Horowitz announced the epic mix-up to the stunned audience from the stage, Cullinan could be seen on stage looking at the different cards.

“There’s been a mistake. Moonlight, you won best picture,” Horowitz said during the earth-shattering moment. “This is not a joke.”

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“I opened the envelope and it said, ‘Emma Stone, La La Land,’” Beatty then explained. “That’s why I took such a long look at Faye … I wasn’t trying to be funny.” 

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