Gone are the days when we could let bygones be bygones. In the cold harsh reality of the modern world, someone always has to be punished for a mistake, which is exactly what has happened to the two PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants who oversaw the most infamous Best Picture announcement in the Academy Awards' 89-year history on Sunday. That's because it has now been announced that Martha Ruiz and Brian Cullinan, who took full responsibility for handing the wrong envelope to Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, have now been banned from ever working the show again.
Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who is the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, told the Associated Press of her brutal decision on Wednesday, confirming that Martha Ruiz and Brian Cullinan won't be allowed to ever return to the show. I wonder if they'll get The Rock to be a bouncer to keep them out. Unfortunately, Cheryl Boone Isaacs didn't divulge whether the pair would be allowed in to the Academy Awards if they suddenly found themselves nominated. Something that we can all only pray and hope does occur just for the endless array of jokes that would be made at their expense, and for how painfully awkward it would be.
Cheryl Boone Isaacs decided to rule with an iron fist following Sunday's night debacle, which, just in case you've been living under a rock, saw La La Land briefly announced as the Best Picture winner. A couple of minutes later, it was suddenly revealed that Moonlight should have actually been announced as the winner, and that there had been a terrible mix-up. Rather than either Martha Ruiz or Brian Cullinan making the revelation, though, it was left to La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz to declare Moonlight the real victor, and then usher them up to the stage. If you've somehow not seen the footage, then you can catch-up by watching the entire debacle below.
It later transpired that Brian Cullinan had handed the back-up Best Actress envelope to Warren Beatty, who when he had opened it wasn't greeted with the title of La La Land or Moonlight, but instead saw "Emma Stone -- La La Land". In the ensuing aftermath, a tweet from Brian Cullinan's account of Emma Stone backstage at the Academy Awards moments after she'd picked up her award, and moments before Cullinan was due to hand the envelope to Beatty, was seen as a clear sign that his mind was elsewhere at this critical point, and he was firmly to blame.
Worst things might be on the horizon for PricewaterhouseCoopers, too, because Cheryl Boone Isaacs also confirmed that the accounting firm that's responsible for the integrity of the Academy Awards remains under review. I would contemplate feeling sorry for PwC, but the fact that they record $35.9 billion in revenue in 2016 alone suggests to me that they're going to be all right.
Credit: ABC/Eddy Chen