Sunday 19 November 2017

Oscar chiefs to keep working with PricewaterhouseCoopers despite best picture award blunder

By David Mercer

The Academy said PwC had taken responsibility for the “unacceptable” mistake.

Oscar organisers will continue working with accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) despite the best picture blunder at last month’s ceremony.

The Academy said PwC had taken responsibility for the “unacceptable” mistake which saw La La Land wrongly announced as the award winner instead of Moonlight.

In a letter to members, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said new rules will mean electronic devices are banned backstage at next year’s show.

It comes after PwC accountant Brian Cullinan, who handed the wrong envelope to actor Warren Beatty, was caught posting photos on Twitter moments before the mix-up.

Cheryl said: “From the night of the ceremony through today, PwC has taken full responsibility for the mistake.

“After a thorough review, including an extensive presentation of revised protocols and ambitious controls, the Board has decided to continue working with PwC.”

Cheryl said PwC US chairman Tim Ryan would now take a “greater oversight role” at future ceremonies.

An on-site PwC team at the Oscars will now include a third person with knowledge of award winners who will sit in the control room with the show’s director throughout the event, she added.

Brian and fellow PwC accountant Martha Ruiz were told they would never work at the Oscars again following the most high-profile error in the show’s history.

PwC took responsibility for the shambles, saying Brian and Martha made “a series of mistakes” and failed to follow established backstage protocols.

Brian tweeted a photo of La La Land actress Emma Stone from backstage, minutes before handing presenters Warren and Faye Dunaway the card for best actress in a leading role, rather than best picture.

Cheryl said Brian’s distraction caused the error.

Press Association

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