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Oscars Mishap Accountant Who Tweeted During Show Was Told Not To Tweet During Show

Martha Ruiz and Brian Cullinan. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
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Well, this is certainly awkward. Or, more accurately, awkward on top of awkward.

It appears that Brian Cullinan, the PricewaterhouseCoopers accountant responsible for handing Warren Beatty the wrong envelope and plunging the 89th Annual Academy Awards into utter chaos, had been expressly asked not to tweet during the telecast, as his sole focus was supposed to devoted to, uh, handing out the right envelopes. Instead, Cullinan posted a now infamous (and since deleted) backstage photo of Emma Stone on Twitter just minutes before giving Beatty the wrong envelope. The envelope mix-up, as everyone living on planet Earth and also probably any sentient beings on those seven newly discovered planets now knows, led to La La Land being erroneously announced as the Best Picture winner when the honor actually belonged to Moonlight.

“Brian was asked not to tweet or use social media during the show,” a source told People, who broke the scoop and appear to be rapidly edging out Teen Vogue as The Great News Source Of Our Time. “He was fine to tweet before he arrived at the red carpet but once he was under the auspices of the Oscar night job, that was to be his only focus.”

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“Tweeting right before the Best Picture category was announced was not something that should have happened," the source continued.

The entire fiasco is a PR nightmare for PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm in charge of tabulating the Oscar votes and handing out the envelopes with the winning names, and branding experts say it could threaten the firm's longstanding relationship with the Academy, according to NBC News. The Academy has entrusted PwC to tabulate votes for 83 years. The accounting firm issued a second mea culpa statement Monday night, reiterating that they take "full responsibility" for the mix-up, and adding that once the error occurred, "protocols for correcting it were not followed through quickly enough by Mr. Cullinan or his partner [PwC employee Martha Ruiz]."

"This, fundamentally, isn't that difficult a task. You just had to get the right name in the right envelope and hand it to the right person," as Tim Calkins, a clinical professor of marketing at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, told NBC.