Accountancy firm PwC blamed partner Brian Cullinan for the mix-up that saw 'La La Land' mistakenly awarded Best Picture instead of 'Moonlight'.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has apologised to the casts and producers of La La Land and Moonlight following the high-profile blunder during the presentation of the Best Picture Oscar at the weekend, as accountancy firm PwC has identified the partner responsible for the envelope mix-up.
In its first official statement since the farce at the climax of the 89th Academy Awards stunned the attendees at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles and the watching world, the Academy issued an acknowledgment of the fiasco in the early hours of Tuesday (February 28th).
The statement acknowledged the “tremendous grace” that everybody involved displayed as the mistaken was announced.
The winners of the acting awards at the 2017 Oscars: Mahershala Ali, Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Casey Affleck (l-r)
Meanwhile, accountancy firm PwC, the company used to handle the Oscars voting process for 83 years, had taken full responsibility for what had happened. Pinning the blame on partner Brian Cullinan, one of two people whose job it was to hand out winner’s envelopes and who had been seen tweeting just moments before the mistake, PwC said that it hadn’t been quick enough to correct its mistake.
“We have spent last night and today investigating the circumstances, and will determine what actions are appropriate going forward,” the company said in its first statement since the blunder.
The mistake took more than two whole minutes to be rectified, meaning that three of La La Land’s producers had made acceptance speeches before it was announced that it was Moonlight, in fact, that had won the Best Picture award, the final prize of the night.
“PwC takes full responsibility for the series of mistakes and breaches of established protocols during last night’s Oscars,” the company wrote. It said Cullinan had mistakenly handed presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway an envelope for the Best Actress award, won a few moments before by Emma Stone for La La Land.
“Once the error occurred, protocols for correcting it were not followed through quickly enough by Mr Cullinan or his partner,” the statement read.
A report yesterday by the Wall Street Journal suggested that Cullinan had tweeted a picture of Stone with her aforementioned Oscar just moments before the Best Picture award, and that he might have distracted himself at the crucial moment.