The Academy has decided to retain accounting firm PwC despite the now infamous Best Picture flub last month.
The board of directors for the organization which runs The Oscars met on Tuesday night to make the decision according to a Wednesday report from The Hollywood Reporter.
Ultimately it was decided that the accounting firm of PwC – short for PricewaterhouseCoopers – will be kept on board for the 90th ceremony next year with a few new precautions to prevent the same blunder from happening again.
And PwC accountants won’t be allowed to have their cellphones backstage during future Oscar telecasts.
Film academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs sent an email to academy members Wednesday detailing the new protocols for announcing Oscar winners developed after the best-picture flub at last month’s Academy Awards. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences spokeswoman Teni Melidonian confirmed the authenticity of the email.
The academy’s Board of Governors discussed its ongoing relationship with PwC, formerly known as PricewaterhouseCoopers, and established the new controls at a meeting Tuesday night. Besides banning cellphones, the academy is adding a third balloting partner to the telecast, and bringing in PwC’s U.S. chairman to provide oversight.According to the Hollywood Reporter, Oscars producer Michael De Luca had lunched with Warren Beatty before the meeting.
They also report that the 54-person board gathered at the organization’s headquarters in Beverly Hills for their first in-person meeting since awards night which lasted six hours.
The firm and The Academy have a long-term working relationship as PwC has handled The Oscars voting since 1934.
According to THR, PwC US Chairman Tim Ryan apologized for the ‘human error’ made by Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz who were the ‘balloting leaders’ that had handed off the wrong envelope and took at least a minute before being pushed on stage to fix it.
Cullinan has been the center of much of the controversy as it was revealed in Tuesday’s meeting that he had thrown a party the night before The Oscars and even ‘boasted’ about knowing who would win according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The self-proclaimed Matt Damon lookalike could be seen glued to a television monitor broadcasting Stone’s acceptance speech for Actress in a Leading Role while holding multiple envelopes and his phone.Everyone else in the room is looking at Warren Beatty in the photo, who at that moment was hugging Casey Affleck after his Actor in a Leading Role win for Manchester by the Sea.
Cullinan then handed off the wrong envelope to Beatty, but while the Bonnie & Clyde actor was blundering on stage with Faye Dunaway the accountant was completely oblivious to what was going on because he was too busy tweeting his picture of Stone.
A photo shows the entire backstage crew and production staff with their eyes glued to the monitor, and Cullinan typing away on his phone.Earlier this month it was announced that he and co-worker Ruiz had been fired from their posts and barred from working any future Oscar ceremonies.
According to the THR report one major change is Tim Ryan will have a greater oversight role while PwC partner Rick Rosas will take over Cullinan’s job.
Rosas has previous experience as he had handed out the envelopes from 2002 to 2013. They will be naming another employee to join him sometime within the next few weeks.In an email to Academy members sent out by PwC president Cheryl Boone Isaacs the entire situation was addressed along with an announcement that the firm will be returning to next year’s Oscars.
Boone Isaacs said in her email Wednesday that a third balloting partner with knowledge of the winners will sit with the telecast director going forward. Balloting partners will also be required to participate in Oscar rehearsals, she said.
She called the 89th Academy Awards ‘the most extraordinary and memorable Oscars ceremony in decades’ and said that academy officials have been working since then to develop the new protocols adopted Tuesday.
She wrote: ‘Heading into our 84th year working with PwC, a partnership that is important to the Academy, we’ve been unsparing in our assessment that the mistake made by representatives of the firm was unacceptable.’
In a heart-stopping moment, the stars and producers of La La Land were stopped midway through their acceptance speeches and forced to hand their trophies to the stars of Moonlight after their film was announced as Best Picture in one of the biggest blunders in Oscar history.The terrible end to an otherwise triumphant show left the audience gasping in horror as Beatty revealed he had incorrectly read La La Land as the winner.
Infamous: The Academy has decided to retain accounting firm PwC despite the now Best Picture flub last month according to a Wednesday from The Hollywood Reporter b-error
Oops: According to THR, PwC US Chairman Tim Ryan apologized for the ‘human error’ made by Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz who were the ‘balloting leaders’ that had handed off the wrong envelope
Uh oh: According to the weekly, Oscars producer Michael De Luca had lunched with Warren Beatty for lunch before the meeting as the actor and Faye Dunaway were the final presenters
Shocked: The entire Oscars crowd seemed dumbfounded by the events
Moving on: Earlier this month it was announced that Cullinan and Ruiz had been fired from their posts and barred from working any future Oscar ceremonies
Not his best night: Cullinan and Ruiz had been criticized for taking more than a minute before being pushed to fix the situation