The accountants responsible for the Oscar “best picture” fiasco will never darken Hollywood’s big-night door again.
The PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants who worked backstage at the 89th Oscars, which ended in chaos when the wrong best-picture winner was announced, will not be working the show again, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Wednesday.
Cheryl Boone Isaacs told the media that Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz, who were responsible for handling the winner envelopes during Sunday night’s ceremony, won’t be invited back. Isaacs said the Academy is still reviewing its relationship with PricewaterhouseCoopers, which has handled Oscar vote-tabulation duties for 83 years.
The two will presumably continue working for the accounting firm, as no mention was made of any fate other than their involvement in the Oscars ceremony.
PricewaterhouseCoopers officials have faulted Cullinan for handing the wrong envelope to actor Warren Beatty, who announced the best picture winner with his “Bonnie and Clyde” co-star Faye Dunaway. Instead of giving Beatty the envelope with the name of the best picture winner inside, he handed him a duplicate of the envelope for best actress — Emma Stone of “La La Land.”
After some visible confusion on stage, Dunaway wound up announcing “La La Land” as the winner of the best-picture Oscar, which was actually won by “Moonlight.”
Cullinan had made multiple Twitter posts, which have since been deleted, while backstage, including a photo of Stone walking off stage with her Oscar.
Isaacs told the AP Cullinan’s distraction while backstage led to him handing Beatty the wrong envelope.
Meanwhile, the Academy on Wednesday apologized to Australian film producer Jan Chapman, whose photo was included in the “In Memoriam” segment of Sunday’s telecast, even though she is still alive. Chapman’s photo appeared on screen with the name of costume designer Janet Patterson, who died last year.
“We sincerely apologize to producer Jan Chapman, whose photo was mistakenly used in the Oscars `In Memoriam’ tribute for her colleague and dear friend, the late Janet Patterson,” according to a statement posted on the Academy’s Instagram account. “Janet, an Academy member and four-time Oscar- nominated costume designer, was beloved in our community. We extend our deepest apologies and condolences to the Patterson family.”
The apology was accompanied by a photo of Patterson. The statement also noted that the Academy has posted an updated version of its “In Memoriam” video online, and in its online gallery at www.oscar.com.
— City News Service
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