[By Justine Newcombe]

We’ve all heard what happened at the Academy Awards this year and it wasn’t pretty. It was the end of the ceremony; the announcement of winner for Best Picture. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway (a.k.a. Bonnie and Clyde) were on stage presenting the award. To no one’s surprise, La La Land was announced for Best Picture. They were up as finalists, anticipated to win and had already taken several awards already that evening. While they may have been announced as the winners, they definitely did not win Best Picture that night. Mid-acceptance speech, La La Land was interrupted by producer Jordan Horowitz, “There’s a mistake. Moonlight – you guys won Best Picture.”

How did this happen? PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has been in charge of counting the 6,000 Oscar votes for the past 83 years. To prevent any pre-show leaks to the public, PwC calculates the results and fills the envelopes with the winner’s names. Two keepers guard the ballot briefcase on its way to the ceremony, as well as throughout the night and hand the winning envelopes to the presenter’s backstage. Somehow one of the keepers handed Beatty the wrong envelope, one that contained La La Land’s Emma Stone, winner for Best Actress. You can see how frustrated the public was with this mix up.

So how did PwC handle this?

PWC Tweet1

Within four hours, they issued an apology online and noted that it was looking into the incident. That is a quick reaction time for a crisis that occurred so late in the night.

Due to the confused and upset responses to their Twitter apology, PwC issued a second statement on Monday evening.


Yay or nay? It’s a yay for me. Two thumbs up for responding in a timely manner and giving honest feedback on what happened the night of the 89th Oscars. PwC repeats its sincere apologies and accepts the full responsibility for the mistake made. It did not shift the blame nor ignore the issue. No one was hurt, so a brief statement is all that was needed for a simple human error.

(Photos by PricewaterhouseCoopers’s official Twitter account and Wikimedia Commons)