The Academy has renewed its relationship with accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, despite the much-publicised mix-up over Best Picture at last month's awards ceremony.
The Oscars organisers are to continue using accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) despite the company coming under intense fire for the embarrassing mix-up over Best Picture at this year’s awards ceremony.
PwC had taken responsibility for the “unacceptable” mistake that saw La La Land initially wrongly awarded the Best Picture trophy instead of Moonlight, the Oscars said, and they would continue their working relationship that dates back to 1929.
The Academy’s president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, issued a letter to members saying that new protocols had been put in place to ensure that a similar mistake could not happen again. Furthermore, electronic devices would be banned from the backstage area in the future.
PwC has for a long time counted the votes and organised the envelopes that are handed out to presenters as they take the stage to award the prizes, but the firm’s partner Brian Cullinan had been caught tweeting photos from the backstage area just moments before he handed the wrong envelope to actors Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, and Boone Isaacs ascertained that it was this distraction that caused the blunder.
“From the night of the ceremony through today, PwC has taken full responsibility for the mistake,” Boone Isaacs said. “After a thorough review, including an extensive presentation of revised protocols and ambitious controls, the board has decided to continue working with PwC.”
PwC’s US chairman and senior partner Tim Ryan will take a “greater oversight role” at ceremonies in the future, with a third person from PwC in the control room with the director, who has knowledge of the winners, throughout the telecast.
However, Cullinan and his colleague Martha Ruiz, who were present backstage at last month’s snafu, have reportedly been told they will never work the Oscars ceremony again.