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The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has decided to retain the services of the accounting firm that was responsible for the greatest error in Oscars history.
Following a six-hour meeting, the Academy’s board of governors decided Tuesday night that PricewaterhouseCoopers, which has been working with the Academy for 83 years, will be working next year’s Oscars, according to The Hollywood Reporter, despite the envelope flub that led to presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announcing “La La Land” as best picture instead of the rightful winner, “Moonlight.”
But there will be some changes to help make sure a screwup like this never happens again.
According to the trade, new protocols include PwC chairman Tim Ryan taking on a greater oversight role, a third accountant will being seated in the control room to ensure a more immediate response if a mistake were to occur, the accountants taking part in the rehearsals, and all accountants checking their electronic devices before going near the Oscars stage.
The best-picture error occurred when PwC accountant Brian Cullinan was reportedly busy on his phone tweeting a photo of Oscar winner Emma Stone. Meanwhile, he had handed the wrong envelope to Beatty and Dunaway to award the best-picture Oscar.
Cullinan and the other accountant who worked this year’s Oscars, Martha Ruiz, will never work the show again.
It turns out Cullinan was specifically told not to use his phone backstage before this year’s Oscars. According to THR, Academy CEO Dawn Hudson informed the board that she became aware that Cullinan had used his smartphone and social media while working on past Oscars ceremonies, leading to him being explicitly told not to do so this year.
Cullinan still has his job at PwC.