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The wrong movie was given the Academy Award for Best Picture Sunday night. The error was discovered several minutes later, and the award quickly (and awkwardly) switched hands to the correct movie. This was not Warren Beatty’s fault. Nor was it Faye Dunaway’s fault. It wasn’t Matt Damon or Jimmy Kimmel’s fault. No, this problem began and ended with the folks at PricewaterhouseCoopers, the usually reliable accounting firm responsible for tallying Oscar votes and stuffing envelopes with names of the winners.

In a statement, they accepted the blame, writing:

We sincerely apologise to Moonlight, La La Land, Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and Oscar viewers for the error that was made during the 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.

During interviews following the ceremony, various members of the team from Moonlight repeatedly emphasized their thanks to the team from La La Land; in turn, the La La Land team has thrown out repeated congrats to Moonlight:

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As Mr. Horowitz spoke, colleagues and others came up to him, hugging him sand saying how gracious he was. Then Adele Romanski, one of the “Moonlight” producers, came up to him, and they gave each other a huge hug. “I got to give a speech and then give you an award,” Mr. Horowitz said.

Though the snafu has calmed down on their end, it hasn’t for PricewaterhouseCoopers: The Guardian writes that the company’s investigation “will focus on a provision intended to make the system failsafe,” which are the identical envelopes “held in the wings in case anything should go wrong with a presenter or an envelope.”

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“The key question,” they write, “will be whether the duplicate of the best actress award, which had just been announced, was handed to Beatty in the wings as he walked out to announce the best picture winner.”

When Beatty wakes up this morning, Annette Bening will be sitting at the breakfast table with a copy of The New York Times and her phone set to dial Faye’s number. “You’re gonna call Faye now and you’re gonna read her this explanation from PwC. I will not have you two feuding.”

[NYT / The Guardian]


What is this app, Mariah? Why didn’t you just use the Notes app?


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