Entertainment

Academy Fires Oscar Accountants Behind Best Picture Mix-Up


The fallout from this weekend’s Best Picture mishap continues, as The Academy revealed today that the accountants responsible for the mix-up will not return to the Oscars. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs confirmed that Price Waterhouse Cooper accountants Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz will never work the Academy Awards again. The academy also apologized for another mishap that happened on Oscar Sunday, where the wrong picture was used during an In-Memoriam entry.

Associated Press revealed today that Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs finally spoke about the mistake that happened this past Sunday, but there are no direct quotes attributed to her. Brian Cullinan was directly responsible for the mix-up, handing the wrong card to presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, which was a duplicate of the Best Actress card which revealed that La La Land actress Emma Stone won that award. When the Warren Beatty opened the envelope, he seemed immediately confused, and it was later confirmed that he was holding the card for Best Actress, instead of the one for Best Picture. While the La La Land producers were giving their speeches, stage managers were seen on the stage, before producer Jordan Horowitz revealed that Moonlight had actually won Best Picture.

It was also revealed earlier today through backstage photos obtained by Variety, that Brian Cullinan may have been distracted, with the accountant posting a photo of Emma Stone on Twitter just moments before the presenters took the stage, although the photo was later deleted. Photos surfaced today of Brian Cullinan on his phone back stage at 9:04 PM PST, which was just one minute before he sent out the now-deleted photo of Emma Stone. Price Waterhouse Cooper chairman Tim Ryan told Variety how Brian Cullinan feels about the mishap.

“He feels very, very terrible and horrible. He is very upset about this mistake. While I am concerned I hope we will be judged on how quickly we reacted and owned up to the issue.”

Cheryl Boone Isaacs also told the Associated Press that the Academy’s 83-year partnership with the accounting firm Price Waterhouse Cooper is now “under review” following the incident. Price Waterhouse Cooper issued a statement on Monday, accepting full responsibility for the mishap, and that they are, “currently investigating how this could have happened”. In related news, The Academy took to Instagram today to apologize for their In Memoriam mishap, where a photo of Australian producer Jan Chapman, who is still alive, was used during the segment in an entry for late costume designer Janet Patterson. Here’s what the Academy had to say below on social media.

“We sincerely apologize to producer Jan Chapman, whose photo was mistakenly used in the Oscars “In Memoriam” tribute for her colleague and dear friend, the late Janet Patterson. Janet, an Academy member and four-time Oscar-nominated costume designer, was beloved in our community. We extend our deepest apologies and condolences to the Patterson family.”

The mishaps and the controversy certainly didn’t help the show out in terms of the ratings, with the bloated telecast, that spanned nearly four hours, earned the lowest ratings in nine years with 32.9 million viewers, the second fewest in the show’s history. Aside from these two massive errors, the show was otherwise received quite well, with Jimmy Kimmel earning praise from fans and critics alike for his work as the host. Still, despite all of his well-received gags, including snacks falling from the ceiling and a random tour group being lead into the Dolby Theater during the show, this year’s Academy Awards will always be marred by these Best Picture and In Memoriam mishaps. Take a look at the Academy’s Instagram photo below, which features the proper photo for the late costume designer Janet Patterson.


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