The organisers of the Academy Awards have barred the two PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants who were responsible for the Best Picture award announcement gaffe from working at the Oscars again. Brian Cullinan and Martha L Ruiz had tabulated the votes and handed over the envelopes with the winners’ names at the award ceremony.
Cullinan and Ruiz were the only people who knew the names of the winners before the envelopes were opened during the live telecast of the awards on Monday, said an Academy spokesperson, according to The New York Times. La La Land was mistakenly announced the winner of the Best Picture award instead of Moonlight.
Cullinan, a partner at the accountancy firm, had given presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway a duplicate envelope for the Best Actress award. It had the name of Emma Stone for La La Land. Beatty showed it to Dunaway to clear his confusion. Dunaway then announced that was La La Land was the winner.
It was thought that presenter Beatty had made the mistake till Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs clarified what happened. After the gaffe, PwC had apologised to the Moonlight team, the La La Land team, presenters Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway and viewers for the error.
Cullinan has been a co-balloting leader with PwC since 2014 while Ruiz joined the next year. PwC has been handling the voting process for the Academy for the last 83 years. However, the Academy is yet to decide if PwC will continue as its accountant.