PricewaterhouseCoopers Says Partners Didn’t Act ‘Quickly Enough’ to Fix Oscars Flub: ‘We Failed the Academy’

Owning it. PricewaterhouseCoopers, the auditing firm that handles the Oscars votes, said that they didn’t act “quickly enough” to fix the epic Best Picture flub at the 89th annual Academy Awards on Sunday, February 26.

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“PwC takes full responsibility for the series of mistakes and breaches of established protocols during last night’s Oscars,” the company wrote in a statement, released late Monday, February 27, hours after they apologized for the gaffe in another earlier statement.

According to PwC, their partner Brian Cullinan accidentally handed presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway the envelope containing the winner of Best Actress, which was La La Land’s Emma Stone. After realizing their error, Beatty, 79, explained to the audience and viewers at home, “I opened the envelope and it said, ‘Emma Stone, La La Land.’ That’s why I took such a long look at Faye. … I wasn’t trying to be funny.”

In their statement, PwC apologized for the way they handled the situation. “Once the error occurred, protocols for correcting it were not followed through quickly enough by Mr. Cullinan or his partner,” the statement continued.

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The company also expressed remorse for those roped into the snafu, including Beatty, Dunaway, 76, and host Jimmy Kimmel, as well as the casts of La La Land and Moonlight.

“We wish to extend our deepest gratitude to each of them for the graciousness they displayed during such a difficult moment,” the statement said. “For the past 83 years, the Academy has entrusted PwC with the integrity of the awards process during the ceremony, and last night we failed the Academy.”

Tim Ryan, PwC’s U.S. chairman and senior partner, addressed the drama during an interview with Variety on Monday. “We clearly made a mistake, and once the mistake was made, we corrected it and owned up to it,” he said, adding that Cullinan “feels very, very terrible and horrible” about the mix-up.

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“He is very upset about this mistake,” Ryan added. “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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