The free-floating cloud of blame associated with Sunday night’s Best Picture fuck-up at the Oscars has finally found a few shoulders to rest upon. Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs has confirmed to Deadline that Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz, the PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants responsible for handing off the winner cards to the night’s presenters, won’t be coming back for another shot to atone for their mistakes
That probably isn’t a huge surprise, given that the pair literally had one job that night, and that they—specifically Cullinan, who was caught screwing around on his phone right around the time he was handing Warren Beatty a duplicate of Emma Stone’s Best Actress envelope, instead of the Best Picture one for Moonlight—managed to screw it up. (It kind of sounds like Ruiz is getting nailed with guilt by association here, which is too bad, especially since she’s been on PwC’s ballotting team for more than a decade.)
The accounting firm has been tabulating and then handing off the Oscars results for more than 80 years, with relatively little in the way of mistakes. (Sammy Davis Jr. was given the wrong envelope for Best Music Score in 1964, but that’s about it.) The company has publicly apologized for the mistake twice now, with the second statement specifically naming Cullinan as being responsible for making the mistake, and then both him and Ruiz for not correcting it until the La La Land producers were well into their acceptance speeches for the award they didn’t actually win. The Academy has yet to comment on what this might all mean for its near-century of association with the London-based accounting firm.