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Oscars 2017: Truth Behind 'Envelopegate' Emerges

The man in charge of the Oscars awards envelopes has been blamed for the gaffe that saw La La Land named best picture. PriceWaterhouseCoop...

The man in charge of the Oscars awards envelopes has been blamed for the gaffe that saw La La Land named best picture.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers accountant Brian Cullinan was supposed to hand the best picture envelope to presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway on Sunday.

In a statement, PwC said he "mistakenly handed [them] the back-up envelope for actress in a leading role instead." It's also emerged that Cullinan tweeted a picture of Emma Stone backstage just minutes before the mix-up took place.

The tweet has since been deleted, though it survives on various websites and on a cached Google page. Cullinan had a complete set of envelopes on one side of the stage, while Martha Ruiz, another PwC accountant, had a duplicate set on the other.
Oscars 2017

This explains why both best actress winner Emma Stone and Beatty ended up in possession of an envelope related to the best actress award. Beatty was evidently confused by the contents of the envelope, passing the card onto his former Bonnie and Clyde co-star.

Seeing the words "La La Land" beneath Emma Stone's name, Dunaway declared her musical romance the winner of the best picture award. Only after that film's producers had begun their acceptance speeches was it revealed that Moonlight had in fact won the award.

"Once the error occurred, protocols for correcting it were not followed through quickly enough by Mr Cullinan or his partner," said the accountancy firm. One of Cullinan's colleagues told Variety that the accountant "feels very, very terrible" and "is very upset about this mistake".

The mix-up brought a chaotic end to Sunday's Oscars ceremony, hosted in Los Angeles by talk show host Jimmy Kimmel. Here are six more things we've learned about one of the most extraordinary awards show debacles in recent times.

The organisers of the Academy Awards "deeply regret the mistakes" that led to La La Land being wrongly named best picture. Moonlight had actually won the award, but the envelope mix-up led to Dunaway announcing the wrong film.

"We apologise to the entire cast and crew of La La Land and Moonlight whose experience was profoundly altered by this error," the Academy said. "We salute the tremendous grace they displayed under the circumstances."

In its statement, the Academy said PwC had "taken full responsibility for the breaches of established protocols that took place during the ceremony. "We have spent last night and today investigating the circumstances, and will determine what actions are appropriate going forward." - BBC

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