As the finger-pointing and mea culpas continue regarding last night’s Best Picture tragicomedy, the top U.S. exec at the Academy’s accounting firm was booked on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360° tonight. Key word: “was.”
PricewaterhouseCoopers U.S. Chairman and senior partner Tim Ryan, who had been making the media rounds today to discuss Sunday’s Best Picture gaffe, canceled his appearance on the primetime show less than an hour before he was to go on, Anderson Cooper said. After a video piece about the debacle at the 89th Academy Awards, the CNN host said this on-air: “The chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm that’s in charge of the Oscar envelopes, was actually booked to be on the program tonight. He canceled a short time ago — like 45 minutes ago — apparently on orders from the Academy. So the plot thickens.”
Deadline reached out to CNN and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for comment about the cancellation and Cooper’s take on it but has not heard back.
This morning, Ryan was quoted in USA Today as saying the Moonlight-not-La La Land flap was a simple mistake: “At the end of the day we made a human error,” he said. “We made a mistake. What happened was, our partner on the left side of the stage, Brian Cullinan, he handed the wrong envelope to Warren Beatty. And then the second we realized that we notified the appropriate parties and corrected the mistake.”
Meanwhile, Cooper apparently was as flabbergasted as anyone watching the end of the Oscarcast last night; he tweeted this: