Oscar Controversy! Here’s What Led to Cringeworthy Oscars Mishap
More details are coming out about the Oscars mistake that has overshadowed the rest of the show.
PricewaterhouseCoopers, which handles the winning envelopes at the Oscars, is putting all the blame on partner Brian Cullinan. In a statement to "Extra," the accounting firm said, "PwC takes full responsibility for the series of mistakes and breaches of established protocols during last night's Oscars. PwC Partner Brian Cullinan mistakenly handed the back-up envelope for Actress in a Leading Role instead of the envelope for Best Picture to presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. Once the error occurred, protocols for correcting it were not followed through quickly enough by Mr. Cullinan or his partner."
Page Six reports that Cullinan was distracted with social media before the big flub. Just minutes before he handed the wrong envelope to Warren Beauty, Cullinan was reportedly tweeting out a pic of Best Actress winner Emma Stone. According to the Wall Street Journal, the tweet was sent out at 9:05 pm with the caption, "Best Actress Emma Stone Backstage!” The tweet has since been deleted.
Brian's tweeting was apparently against protocol. A source shared with People magazine, "Brian was asked not to tweet or use social media during the show. He was fine to tweet before he arrived at the red carpet but once he was under the auspices of the Oscar night job, that was to be his only focus.”
"Tweeting right before the Best Picture category was announced was not something that should have happened," the insider added.
Cullinan and his PwC partner Martha Ruiz were standing stage left and stage right, holding identical envelopes in two separate briefcases. They took turns handing out the envelopes to the presenters.
After Ruiz gave the Best Actress envelope to presenter Leonardo DiCaprio, Cullinan did not dispose of his. As a result, he handed the duplicate Best Actress envelope to Beatty, who seemed to hesitate for a few seconds after viewing the card inside. TMZ reports that Beatty and co-presenter Faye Dunaway were fighting over who would announce the Best Picture winner in rehearsals. At the live show, Faye ended up announcing the wrong winner after Beatty showed her the card, which read, “Emma Stone, 'La La Land.'” Dunaway saw “La La Land” and went with it.
A week before the Oscars disaster, Cullinan affirmed to Huffington Post that “it's so unlikely” for a mistake like his to happen, but said if the wrong name were announced, "We would make sure that the correct person was known very quickly. Whether that entails stopping the show, us walking onstage, us signaling to the stage manager — that's really a game-time decision, if something like that were to happen."
On Monday, Jimmy Kimmel addressed the Oscars fiasco during "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" He said, "Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway — it was the 50th anniversary of 'Bonnie and Clyde,' and they played Bonnie and Clyde, so the Academy asked them to present Best Picture. In retrospect now, what we know is what Warren did is, he was confused, so he handed it to Faye and let her read it. In other words, Clyde threw Bonnie under the bus.”
He went on, “I'm standing there like an idiot feeling bad for these guys, but also trying really hard not to laugh, to be honest.” Watch!