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You’re Fired! Accountants Responsible for Oscar Screw Up Won’t Get That Chance Again


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Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

If you tuned into the Oscars on Sunday, you saw the biggest blunder in the history of the Academy Awards. Even if you didn’t watch until the very end of the ceremony, the faux pas was showed again and again on the news since then. If you have not been in the loop, Faye Dunaway mistakenly read the name “La La Land” for Best Picture when “Moonlight” won the Best Picture Oscar. The accountants at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) handed Warren Beaty the wrong envelope. They gave him the duplicate envelope for the “Best Actress” Oscar, which had just gone to Emma Stone for “La La Land.” The accounting firm, who is responsible for compiling and maintaining the list of winners, puts together two envelopes for each award.

Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway at the 2017 Oscars

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

For their part, PWC blamed the incident on human error and Twitter.  Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz, from PwC were responsible for handing out the envelopes. Cullinan was the staff member who handed the wrong envelope to Beatty. He had just tweeted, “Best Actress Emma Stone backstage! #PWC.” The tweet included a photo of the actress. Cillinan deleted the tweet later but PwC thinks he may have been distracted, which is why he made the mistake.

The problem went further than just handing out the wrong envelope. The PwC staffers did not catch the error for a good deal of time in which the “La La Land” producers gave several acceptance speeches.

PwC did issue a statement, which read:

“We deeply regret the mistakes that were made during the presentation of the Best Picture category during last night’s Oscar ceremony. We apologize to the entire cast and crew of La La Land and Moonlight whose experience was profoundly altered by this error. We salute the tremendous grace they displayed under the circumstances. To all involved — including our presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, the filmmakers, and our fans watching worldwide — we apologize.”

This is not the first time this kind of thing has happened. Sammy Davis, Jr. was given the wrong envelope as well, though he was given the Oscar envelope for the Best Original Score whereas he was presenting for best Adaptation or Treatment of a Musical Score.