If you don’t follow celebrity culture, or are from another planet, you might have missed a bit of shenanigans that took place during the latest Academy Awards ceremony. In a case of “someone’s got Steve Harvey syndrome,” the film La La Land was mistakenly awarded the “Best Picture” award that was supposed to be given to Moonlight.
Luckily, the mistake was sorted out… on live TV for everyone to watch.
By most accounts, the issue seemed to be that the presenters, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway [Bonnie and Clyde themselves], were given the wrong envelope. The accountants who worked on the show who were responsible for the envelopes were Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz, who are currently the ones being blamed for the incident.
“We deeply regret the mistakes that were made during the presentation of the best picture category during last night’s Oscar ceremony,” read a statement from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, the accounting agency the managed the event. “We apologize to the entire cast and crew of La La Land and Moonlight whose experience was profoundly altered by this error. We salute the tremendous grace they displayed under the circumstances. To all involved— including our presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, the filmmakers, and our fans watching worldwide — we apologize.”
According to sources, the two have been banned from working at the event in upcoming years. What’s more, Ruiz was reportedly being watched by security personnel after the gaffe. Seriously, they were watching her from outside her house, although they may have been doing that for her own protection.
A lot of people have wondered why the crew should be punished in what was, mostly, a mistake. Some have specifically defended Ruiz, since it was Cullinan who handed out the wrong envelope. A stagehand, Gary Natoli, defended the action in a statement, saying that they both failed to intervene in time: “When La La Land was announced, she did not try to get my attention, she did not say anything. And she’s supposed to have memorised the winners…I’m sure they’re very lovely people, but they just didn’t have the disposition for this.”
I’m just curious why they’ve had an accounting firm handling the ballots for 82 years, but that’s none of my business.