ENTERTAINMENT
03/30/2017 06:10 am ET

Oscars Board Decides To Keep PwC For Awards Shows Despite Best Picture Debacle

Members met for some six hours to discuss the issue.

The board governing the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences says it will retain the services of the accounting firm responsible for the embarrassing Oscars Best Picture snafu at this year’s ceremony. 

Last month, PricewaterhouseCoopers took full responsibility for giving actor Warren Beatty the wrong envelope to announce the final and most prestigious award of the night.

The mix-up led to massive confusion with Beatty’s co-presenter Faye Dunaway incorrectly awarding “La La Land” as the Best Picture winner, instead of “Moonlight.” Pictures surfaced showing PwC accountant Brian Cullinan, who was responsible for giving Beatty the wrong envelope, breaching protocol minutes before handing over the results to post a photo of actress Emma Stone to Twitter. 

PwC partner Brian Cullinan using his phone during the ceremony in February.
Photo by Andrew H. Walker/REX/Shutterstock
PwC partner Brian Cullinan using his phone during the ceremony in February.

Since the debacle, the firm removed Cullinan and colleague Martha Ruiz from all Oscars-related dealings. PwC has been the official Oscar ballot counter for the past 83 years.

After a board meeting Tuesday night, the first in-person gathering since the blunder, the group decided to keep PwC as its accounting firm with necessary changes, according to the Hollywood Reporter

Going forward, a third person will be added to the team of accountants that manage the ballot counting and results. This additional person will sit in the control room during the production to rapidly respond to any errors. PwC added that accountants will have to give up their mobile devices for the entirety of the show. The accountant who managed the Oscar ballot counting process from 2002 to 2013 will return to the role.

 

Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Mahershala Ali, Amy Poehler and a whole host of other stars are teaming up for Stand for Rights: A Benefit for the ACLU. Join us at 7 p.m. Eastern on Friday, March 31, on Facebook Live.

You can support the ACLU right away. Text POWER to 20222 to give $10 to the ACLU. The ACLU will call you to explain other actions you can take to help. Visit www.hmgf.org/t for terms. #StandForRights2017

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