After last year’s Best Picture debacle at the Oscars where the wrong film was named, there’s a stringent new set of rules in place for 2018 to prevent another ‘Envelopegate.’
It was an Oscars first — and now hopefully a last — when Faye Dunaway announced La La Land as Best Picture at the 2017 Oscars, only to have been given the wrong envelope and Moonlight was the actual winner. It was unfathomable that such a snafu could have occurred, especially with the biggest award of the evening! Now PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm in charge of tallying the votes and determining the winners, has put in place a series of tough new safeguards to make sure such an embarrassing situation never happens again.
First off, the two PwC partners Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz in charge of handing out envelopes won’t be part of the 2018 ceremony the firm’s chairman Tim Ryan tells the Associated Press. For the execs who get the honor in 2018, they will be banned from using personal devices and social media when on their very important assignments. Cullinan had posted a Twitter photo from backstage of Best Actress winner Emma Stone giving her acceptance speech and shortly thereafter he allegedly ended up handing the wrong envelope to presenters Faye and Warren Beatty. Instead of giving them the Best Picture winner envelope that had Moonlight‘s name, he gave the backup copy of the Best Actress envelope which caused Dunaway to read off La La Land in confusion.
A new procedure will be in place for this year’s ceremony where both the star who is presenting the category as well as the stage manager will confirm that the correct category envelope is in the celeb’s hands before they take the stage. The firm will include a third ballot partner who will sit in the show’s control room with Oscar producers and he/she will not only have a copy of all of winners’ envelopes, they will also have the entire list committed to their own memory! That is to ensure that if for any reason all of the other safety measures fail, they will be able to tell show’s producers immediately if any wrong nominee is crowned a winner.
Hopefully that last procedure will make sure that we never see the excruciating moment where La La Land‘s producer Josh Horowitz was able to take the stage and get halfway into a Best Picture acceptance speech before chaos broke out and producers and stage managers hopped in. He was shown the correct winner’s card and to the shock of the entire viewing audience revealed, “Guys, guys, I’m sorry. No. There’s a mistake. Moonlight, you guys won best picture.” He even held up the card with the film’s name because people thought he was joking. That moment will go down in Oscars infamy so PwC wants to make sure it never EVER happens again with these new procedures.
HollywoodLifers, are you excited for the 2018 Oscars?