The Academy Issues A Statement On Envelopegate

by Amy Mackelden
Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Sunday's Oscars proved to be unforgettable, thanks to a little thing that is now being referred to as envelopegate. The wrongful announcement that La La Land had won Best Picture broke the internet in a fashion you'd only expect from a Kardashian. On Monday, the accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, apologized for the Oscars Best Picture mix-up, which denied the cast and crew of Moonlight their moment in the spotlight. The Academy has followed suit by releasing a statement of their own, explaining what went wrong at the ceremony. And the official Oscars statement on envelopegate reinforces the one made by PwC, while placing the focus on the ongoing investigation.

The Academy's statement makes it clear that their accounting firm was responsible for the mix-up of envelopes on stage. It reads,

"For the last 83 years, the Academy has entrusted PwC to handle the critical tabulation process, including the accurate delivery of results. PwC has taken full responsibility for the breaches of established protocols that took place during the ceremony."

But they then shift focus to what's really important: getting to the bottom of the matter. The statement continues:

"We have spent last night and today investigating the circumstances, and will determine what actions are appropriate going forward. We are unwaveringly committed to upholding the integrity of the Oscars and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences."

Clearly, the Moonlight mix-up at the 2017 Academy Awards was a huge deal, and all involved want to ensure a mistake like this doesn't happen again. As the investigation continues, it's possible we might see some changes in how the voting process is carried out.

Currently, votes from individual Oscar voters go directly to PwC to be counted. PwC's Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz place the winning names in the envelopes, making them the only two people that know who has won before the public do. The pair even go so far as to memorize the winners. By having two identical briefcases, containing two identical sets of cards, PwC endeavor to ensure that mistakes rarely happen.

By issuing a statement on Medium, The Academy is striving to rectify its mistake, and the outcomes of the mix-up. Importantly, the statement says, "We apologize to the entire cast and crew of La La Land and Moonlight whose experience was profoundly altered by this error." It might not be much, but it goes a little way towards recognizing that Moonlight didn't get the full celebration it deserved.