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Arts and Entertainment

Oscars Accountants Won't Be Returning To Awards After Best Picture Mixup

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Martha Ruiz and Brian Cullinan at the 2016 Oscars. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
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The two accountants involved with the Oscars' Best Picture mishap on Sunday won't be returning to the awards show on an official capacity, according to a tweet by an Associated Press reporter:

Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz, partners at PricewaterhouseCoopers (which is tasked with tabulating the Oscars votes), were at the Oscars on Sunday to hand out the envelopes that held the names of the award winners. Prior to the award announcement, they were the only two people at the ceremony to know who the winners were, according to Forbes. The game plan was that, during the show, Cullinan and Ruiz would stand off to either wing of the stage and hand the envelopes to the presenter(s). They each had the same set of envelopes, meaning there were two envelopes for each winner.

Somehow, as Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty came out to present for Best Picture, Cullinan handed them the wrong envelope (he gave them the one for the Best Lead Actress category).

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Reports later surfaced of Cullinan tweeting just moments before the snafu took place. It was also reported that Cullinan had been instructed to refrain from tweeting during the ceremony.
According to the Washington Post, Cullinan has been part of the balloting team since 2014. Ruiz, who's worked at PwC for 19 years, joined as the Oscars balloting co-leader in 2015. PwC has administered the vote counting for the Oscars for 83 years, according to Business Insider.

While Cullinan's Oscars days may be over, it seems that he's still employed at PwC. "Brian is a partner at PwC, and I won’t comment any more specifically on him. The reality is, with respect to Brian, he’s been put out there pretty prominently unfortunately. He’s devastated by all this, and I hope that the passage of time allow us to move on," PwC global chairman Bob Moritz told Business Insider.