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PricewaterhouseCoopers Takes Fall for Oscar Gaffe

How did this monstrous Oscar gaffe occur?

THE OSCARS(r) - The 89th Oscars(r) broadcasts live on Oscar(r) SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2017, on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Eddy Chen)JORDAN HOROWITZ, JIMMY KIMMEL, WARREN BEATTY

Jordan Horowitz, Jimmy Kimmel, Warren Beatty

ABC

We all know the Academy accountants, so precise, so reliable: PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Well, not this year. Somehow, their carefully guarded dual sets of envelopes backfired as Warren Beatty on one side of the stage and Leonardo DiCaprio on the other both wound up with Emma Stone “La La Land” cards in their red envelopes.

What unfolded after a smooth, engaged and entertaining Oscar show hosted by Jimmy Kimmel was the biggest gaffe in Oscar history. Warren Beatty frowned over the card he pulled out of the envelope, and passed it to his old “Bonnie and Clyde” star Faye Dunaway, who read the name she saw: “La La Land.”

It took over two minutes for the PricewaterhouseCoopers people to figure out that the wrong winner had been announced (the card had read Emma Stone, “La La Land”) and find the right Best Picture envelope with “Moonlight” on it.

“La La Land” producer Jordan Horowitz had the grace to step to the microphone and admit there had been a sincere mistake. And there was some arguing as Warren Beatty held onto the “Moonlight” Best Picture card, insisting on giving it only to director Barry Jenkins, he told me. Backstage Jenkins made a point of thanking the “La La Land” team for being “gracious.”

For her part, backstage Emma Stone praised “Moonlight.” And at the Governors’ Ball, Academy CEO Dawn Hudson was fuming. Because this tale of two envelopes could only fall on one culprit: PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The Academy asked them to release a statement:

We sincerely apologize to “Moonlight,” “La La Land,” Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and Oscar viewers for the error that was made during the award announcement for Best Picture. The presenters had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope and when discovered, was immediately corrected. We are currently investigating how this could have happened, and deeply regret that this occurred.

We appreciate the grace with which the nominees, the Academy, ABC, and Jimmy Kimmel handled the situation.

—PwC

Will the Academy fire them? It could happen.

At the Governors’ Ball, “Moonlight” producers Adele Romanski and Jeremy Kleiner and director Barry Jenkins all converged on Horowitz to hug and thank him for being so cool about what was a fraught and disappointing conclusion for “La La Land.” “I’m so proud of him,” said his wife Julia Hart.

“It was chaos,” Horowitz said, as men with headsets maneuvered behind him looking for the right Best Picture card.

“La La Land” was set up for disappointment as many Oscar pundits were poised for it to break Oscar records. Twelve wins wasn’t in the cards, so whatever “La La Land” did win was bound to be disappointing. And so what should have been a celebration for “La La Land” wound up a big fat mess — and the only topic of discussion. I was not the only one getting tweets like “OMG!”

At the end of the night, as “La La Land” director Damien Chazelle (who did not feel comfortable meeting the press backstage) left the somehow not celebratory Soho House Lionsgate party, he said: “I want to sleep. It was crazy.”

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Comments

Dodie Bloodworth

People don’t watch Oscars any more because unless it’s political or racist. You know actors we make them and we can break. They saying there the country don’t let the door hit them. There entertainmnters new actors coming out. We don’t need old ones that have been married three times,drug addicts,and socially unacceptable to tell us how to think. I will never watch again! There just mad because they want be partying at the White House the next 8 years like last 8 years. If Hollywood is so interested in the country then why don’t they take care of there homeless there. They are very sad people.

    No

    A nearly cogent tweet from POTUS.

    Jay

    Firstly, learn some English if you feel the need to type it out. Secondly, piss off! Your comment is utterly pathetic and you’d be better off just following POTUS on twitter and calling it a day.

MDL

Moonlight! Surprise ending to the Oscars. Love it!

Dan Mirvish

Remember, if the Academy had activated Best Original Musical category, both films would have walked away with Oscars. :)

DJay

Because in the end, all the 4K, VR, AI and tech-wizadry of Hollywood can’t overtake our need for, and the spectacle of, analogue, person to person transmission. And with that, there’s always gonna be human error. On the sunnier side of things, the Oscars will go on with living, breathing human beings as presenters and not robots… or will it?

Diana Berger

Take the fall for that gaffe? These guys just saved the Oscars. Think about all the viewers who are going to catch it live next year waiting for the next big clvsterfvck. I mean how else are they going to get people to tune in? TV is totally killing theatrically run movies. Better screens, more channels, higher cable rates (if we don’t watch at home, we’re not getting as much for those usurious rates, right?), compelling shows that don’t have to wrap up things in two hours, dwindling numbers of movie theaters, ticket prices that will keep climbing – all of this means that movies are becoming a marginal diversion for most Americans. If the Oscars want more attention in a world of social media patterned after high school, humiliation is the surest way to get it. They may try to become more relevant – in other words, more political – but that hasn’t worked. The only alternative is for the Academy to nominate movies that more Americans will have actually seen. I’m sure the nominees were worthy movies, but viewership was down, and it’s no surprise why. if people haven’t gotten around to seeing some movies, they’re not going to be that interested in a show devoted to awards for those movies. Of course, it’s wrong to concentrate on successful movies rather than on accomplished movies – often the gulf between the two is wide. However, there’s no reason that the Oscar ceremony has to be the huge, hyped event that it’s become. It’s nice that the Oscars is increasing visibility for movies that most people haven’t seen. In a perfect world that would be enough. In the real world, where the ceremony has become a media event, when the entertainment media and social media have an extra permission to turn their minds off and contrite on what people wear, how they clapped, their expressions, their malfunctions, etc – in that world, the Oscar Ceremony has become this overexposed processed of self-important celebrities and hot air. Unless the Academy wants their awards show to become as fixed in the minds of America as the Spirit awards, staged gaffes like this are their only hope.

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