Tags: oscars | envelope-gate | culprit | pricewaterhousecoopers

Oscars' 'Envelope-Gate' Culprit Named — Whodunnit?

Image: Oscars' 'Envelope-Gate' Culprit Named — Whodunnit?

Brian Cullinan (R) and Martha Ruiz (L) of PricewaterhouseCoopers confer on stage after the Best Picture was mistakenly awarded to "La La Land" instead of "Moonlight." (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

By    |   Tuesday, 28 Feb 2017 01:10 PM

A culprit has been named in the Oscars' "envelope-gate" scandal: a PriceWaterhouseCoopers accountant who reportedly handed actor Warren Beatty the wrong envelope for the best picture presentation.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers issued a second apology late Monday on social media, pointing to partner Brian Cullinan as the person who gave the best actress envelope to Beatty from backup envelopes instead of the best picture envelope, leading to one of the greatest mistakes in award show history, The Hollywood Reporter noted.

Co-presenter Faye Dunaway announced that "La La Land" won best picture after Beatty examined the envelope's contents. "Moonlight" was the actual winner of the best picture award.

"Once the error occurred, protocols for correcting it were not followed through quickly enough by Mr. Cullinan or his partner," the PriceWaterhouseCoopers statement said. "We are deeply sorry for the disappointment suffered by the cast and crew of 'La La Land' and 'Moonlight.' We sincerely apologize to Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Jimmy Kimmel, ABC, and the Academy, none of whom was at fault for last night's errors."

Cullinan was reportedly tweeting during the event and had tweeted a picture of best actress winner Emma Stone just minutes before he handed the wrong envelope to Warren Beatty, The Hollywood Reporter said.

Tim Ryan, PriceWaterhouseCoopers' U.S. chairman, told Variety that he spoke to Cullinan extensively about what happened and said it was simply "human error." Ryan said that Cullinan and partner Martha Ruiz had memorized the list of winners and knew immediate the announcement onstage was incorrect.

Ryan told Variety that he did not know why protocols were not followed afterward for the accountants to take to the stage and correct the error. That allowed for more than two minutes to elapse before "La La Land" producer Jordan Horowitz delivered the news that "Moonlight" was the real best picture winner.

"This is the first time in over 80 years that there has ever been a problem and again we are very disappointed in ourselves," Ryan told Variety. "I have reached out to the Academy and shared with them that we take full responsibility that Brian had made the mistake and the firm takes responsibility for that."

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences issued its own apology on Monday.

"We deeply regret the mistakes that were made during the presentation of the Best Picture category during last night's Oscar ceremony," the Academy's statement said. "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."
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A culprit has been named in the Oscars' "envelope-gate" scandal: a PriceWaterhouseCoopers accountant who reportedly handed actor Warren Beatty the wrong envelope for the best picture presentation.
oscars, envelope-gate, culprit, pricewaterhousecoopers
Tuesday, 28 Feb 2017 01:10 PM
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