PricewaterhouseCoopers Blames Envelopegate On Accountant

We will all remember the ridiculous finale to the 89th Academy Awards for some time to come: La La Land was accidentally awarded Best Motion Picture but the Oscar really belonged to Moonlight. And it was all due to a mix up of the envelopes—not the fault of presenters Warren Beatty or Faye Dunaway, as many had initially thought.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, the company behind the Oscars ceremony, took to Twitter to clarify their part in what's been deemed Envelopegate. In a photo statement, they wrote, "PwC takes full responsibility for the series of mistakes and breaches of established protocols during last night's Oscars. 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."

They went on to apologize to the cast and crew of both La La Land and Moonlight, as well as to host Jimmy Kimmel, Beatty, Dunaway, the Academy, and the network, ABC.

However, Cullinan and Martha Ruiz, the two people who count the votes for the Oscars, previously told The Huffington Post that any mistake during the star-studded awards show would be unlikely, and, while they stated that they'd correct the mistake as quickly as possible should it ever occur, there doesn't seem to be any actual protocol in place for them to follow. Regarding making corrections, Cullinan shared, "Whether that entails stopping the show, us walking onstage, us signaling to the stage manager—that's really a game-time decision, if something like that were to happen."

The U.S. chairman and senior partner of the accounting firm behind the error, Time Ryan, spoke with Variety about the Oscar mistake, attributing it to "human error." He also states that he'd spoken to Cullinan about the incident and revealed, "He feels very, very terrible and horrible. He is very upset about this mistake. And as a firm, given that he is a partner of our firm, it is also my mistake and our mistake and we all feel very bad."

According to Deadline, Ryan canceled his scheduled interview with Anderson Cooper just an hour before he was supposed to go on.