Looks like the Oscar showrunners really really don’t want another La La Land/Moonlight mix-up: they’ve said the two accountants responsible won’t be working with the Academy Awards again. In fact, they’ve been barred from entering future ceremonies.
Cheryl Boone-Isaac, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, has said that Pricewaterhouse Coopers accountants Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz have been permanently removed from all Academy dealings. “They have one job to do. One job to do!” Boone told AP. “Obviously there was a distraction.”
Ruiz and Cullinan were responsible for counting the ballots before the show and then handing the envelopes containing the winners for each award to the presenters. But Cullinan was side-tracked when he tweeted a photo (since deleted) of Emma Stone in the wings with her new Oscar minutes before handing presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway her best actress envelope instead of the correct one for the best picture award.
Boone-Isaac said the mix-up means the Academy’s relationship with PwC – the firm that has overseen Oscars voting and award-giving for 83 years – is now under review.
However, PwC have been looking to turn the blame directly on Cullinan and Ruiz. In a statement the company said “once the error occurred, protocols for correcting it were not followed through quickly enough by Mr Cullinan or his partner.”
Boone-Isaac said: “We are reviewing those protocols, of course. Because it never happened before and we never are going to have it happen again. And we are setting new guidelines, new protocols and really re-examining every step to make sure this never ever, ever happens.”