Though dust from the 2017 Oscars Best Picture mix-up continues to settle, the behind-the-scenes chaos ensues. Since Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway accidentally announced La La Land as Best Picture instead of Moonlight at the show on Sunday, fingers have been pointed as people search for answers. On Wednesday, the president of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, broke her silence and shed some light on the unfolding outcome that seemed inevitable when the flub first occurred. Now, the accountant involved in Envelopegate have been fired from the Oscars gig.
After the debacle, it was revealed that the presenters were handed with an envelope for Emma Stone's win as Best Actress in La La Land, hence the initial confusion. However, in the press room, Stone claimed that she was holding her envelope the whole time. Thus, questions about the accountants, who are responsible for handing out the proper winners' envelopes, were raised. All week, news about the accounting firm linked with the academy, PricewaterhouseCoopers, has surfaced little by little.
But, on Wednesday, Isaacs revealed the fate of Martha Ruiz and Brian Cullinan, the two accountants specifically in charge of distributing the envelopes which are held in each of their briefcases the night of the event. According to The Hollywood Reporter, neither Ruiz or Cullinan will return to work on the show in the future.
Dubbed "envelopegate" by the internet, it seems the mix-up was likely caused by a series of accidents, regardless of conspiracy theories (including it being a publicity stunt or a desperate strategy to pull in ratings). For instance, minutes before the false announcement, accountant Cullinan tweeted a photo of Emma Stone backstage with the caption, "Best Actress Emma Stone backstage! #PWC." Isaacs stated that the error in pulling out the duplicate card was due to Cullinan's distraction.
I watched the whole thing happen live from an Oscars viewing party red carpet in Hollywood on Sunday, where I overheard reporters, celebrities, and guests say things like, "That person's getting fired." It's unfortunate, because this mix-up didn't seem to have malicious intentions behind it, and mistakes do happen. Regardless, I'm sure people from La La Land and Moonlight were hurt by what happened, and the price has to be paid by someone. According to Isaacs, this isn't over just yet, as firm PwC will continue to get reviewed for its further relationship with the academy.