Early Monday morning, a day after the 89th Academy Awards, Tim Ryan, U.S. chairman and senior partner of accounting firm PricewaterhouseCooper, made his rounds on the press circuit, apologizing for the Best Picture mistake. Now, after already releasing their first statement following the ceremony, a second official statement has been shared by PwC.
“PwC takes full responsibility for the series of mistakes and breaches of established protocols during last night’s Oscars,” the second statement says. “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.”
Midway through the second La La Land acceptance speech, producers informed the winners that there had been a mistake. Jordan Horowitz finally went up to the mic and said the now-infamous “this is not a joke” line, announcing the Moonlight was indeed the real winner.
PwC continued their statement, adding, “We are deeply sorry for the disappointment suffered by the cast and crew of La La Land and Moonlight. We sincerely apologize to Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Jimmy Kimmel, ABC, and the Academy, none of whom was at fault for last night’s errors. We wish to extend our deepest gratitude to each of them for the graciousness they displayed during such a difficult moment. For the past 83 years, the Academy has entrusted PwC with the integrity of the awards process during the ceremony, and last night we failed the Academy.”
The Academy also issued a statement, following PwC’s second. “We deeply regret the mistakes that were made during the presentation of the Best Picture category during last night’s Oscar ceremony,” they expressed. Now, following an investigation, the Academy “will determine what actions are appropriate going forward.”