The 2017 Oscars saw its biggest shake-up since its 2016 Academy Awards when it was smack center in another controversy surrounding broader minorities and diversity inclusion in its nominations canon. This year, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, took center stage when two of its presenters for Best Picture erroneously announced the incorrect winner during a worldwide telecast. The movie contenders included the hard-hitting drama “Moonlight” and the feel-good musical “La La Land” that presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway mistaken pronounced as the victor.

Beatty clarified that the envelope he had received was incorrectly prepared and promptly apologized to the audience. The actor later requested that The Academy explain the circumstances that lead to the gaffe while the blame volleyed between the AMPAS and tabulation accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers.

A day later, Academy Awards President Cheryl Boone Isaacs stated publicly that PwC had the onus of maintaining The Awards’ integrity and that it was “investigating” appropriate actions before “going forward.”

Oscars Announcement Procedures

The misreading controversy occurred due to two PwC accountants that were responsible for the mishandling of the coveted envelopes that declared each winner. The PwC representatives are instructed to follow stringent procedures.

Each representative attending The Oscars carries a briefcase containing the envelopes that are printed with the winners from the 24 categories in the program. Additionally, PricewaterhouseCoopers stations an accountant on each end of the Awards stage to help prevent any mishandling of the voted results. PwC representatives are also instructed to memorize the winners before announcements.

The Oscars Backstage

PwC later stated an accountant, Brian Cullinan, tweeted a photograph of Best Actress winner Emma Stone from off stage before giving an unopened envelope for the same category to Beatty and Dunaway. Oscars presenters typically walk onto the stage from the left where the first accountant tweeted, however, a second PwC accountant, Martha Ruiz, had handed an identical Best Actress envelope to presenter Leonardo DiCaprio earlier and from the right of the stage.

AMPAS President Boone Issacs reacted to the envelope mistake with “horror”, in an interview with the magazine, New Yorker. I was like, “how does this happen?” Boone Issacs stated. “How. Does. This. Happen. And it was such a wonderful show.”

The two PwC accountants will not attend next year’s 2018 Oscars, according to Variety, and The Academy is weighing whether it will continue its partnership with the tabulation firm.