To avoid last year’s spectacular Oscars gaffe, which saw La La Land being announced as Best Picture instead of Moonlight, a new set of rules has been created to prevent the envelopes getting mixed up.
PwC, the accounting firm that counts votes for the Academy Awards, has introduced six new rules.
Firstly, both the celebrity presenter and a stage manager will confirm that they have been given the correct envelope for the category they are about to present.
Last year’s mistake occurred when a PwC representative mistakenly handed presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway the backup envelope for Best Actress, which had moments earlier gone to Emma Stone for La La Land, instead of Best Picture.
After Beatty opened the envelope onstage, he hesitated, and Dunaway, thinking he was playing a joke, read out La La Land as the winner. Moonlight had in fact won, but it took a long and excruciating few minutes before anyone realised.
The other new changes are as follows:
- Chairman of PwC Tim Ryan will be personally involved with Oscar operations this year.
- The two partners who worked on last year’s Academy Awards have been replaced.
- The two PwC accountants holding the envelopes will have memorised the winners’ list. A third partner, who will also know the winners by heart, will sit in the control room with the producers of the show.
- All three accountants will attend rehearsals, and practice what to do if anything goes wrong.
- PwC partners are banned from using phones or social media during the show.