Accounting Firm PwC Will Continue to Work Oscars After Best Picture Fiasco — But Without Cell Phones
The Academy won’t be pushing the envelope in the handling of future Oscars ceremonies in the wake of this year’s humiliating best picture mixup.
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced in a letter to its members that it wouldn’t cut ties with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the accounting firm that oversees the Academy Awards, CNBC is reporting.
There will, however, be one major change: The PwC accountants working the ceremony will not be allowed to use cell phones onsite.
“[We are] unsparing in our assessment that the mistake made by representatives of the firm was unacceptable,” Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs wrote in a letter to the organization’s members Wednesday.
The cell phone policy comes after PwC accountants Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz came under fire for their handling of the envelopes revealing the winners during the Oscars in February. Cullinan was the one who provided the incorrect best picture card to presenter Warren Beatty, according to Variety.
That led to a now infamous chain of events: Instead of the best picture envelope being opened, Beatty and co-presenter Faye Dunaway instead opened a duplicate of Emma Stone’s card for best actress. Dunaway incorrectly assumed that meant La La Land won.
As the La La Land producers gave their victory speeches, it was one of the presumed winners, Jordan Horowitz, who was left to reveal the mistake in real time after being informed of the gaff by a stagehand. “There’s a mistake,” Horowitz told the stunned crowd at the Dolby Theatre. “Moonlight, you guys won best picture. This is not a joke.”
Both Cullinan and Ruiz were specifically banned from future Oscars ceremonies.
Watch the big Oscars gaffe below.