Oscars keep accounting firm behind best picture blunder | Film | DW | 30.03.2017
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Oscars keep accounting firm behind best picture blunder

When the wrong film was announced as best picture, it was the biggest fiasco in Oscar history. The Academy has now decided to continue working with the accounting firm responsible - but has banned phones backstage.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, which has handled Oscar balloting for the past 83 years, along with doing the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' taxes, will continue working with the Hollywood institution.

"After a thorough review, including an extensive presentation of revised protocols and ambitious controls, the board has decided to continue working with PwC," Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the Academy president, communicated Wednesday.

Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz, the two individual accountants who were backstage during the February 26 awards ceremony and handed the wrong best picture envelope to the presenters, will not be invited backto the Oscars.

In what would become the most embarrassing moment in the history of the Hollywood award, Cullinan gave hosts Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway a duplicate of the best actress envelope rather than the one for best picture. As a result, "La La Land" rather than "Moonlight"was erroneously announced as the winner before organizers realized the mistake.

The incident, however, will bring further consequences for the Oscars. Cheryl Boone Isaacs outlined new measures that will be put in place to avoid similar blunders in the future.

Electronic devices will be banned backstage during the awards ceremony, since it was revealed that Cullinan had been tweeting just prior to handing out the wrong envelope.

In the future, three rather than two staff members will be made aware of the winners in advance, in order to intervene in the case of a mistake.

Next week, PricewaterhouseCoopers will participate in rehearsals "for possible onstage issues" and the Academy will add "improvements to onstage envelope category verifications," Isaacs added.

kbm/eg (AFP, dpa)


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