At the moment, Brian Cullinan is the man eveyrbody is talking about ... The PricewaterhouseCoopers partner, a company known as PwC, has been identified as the responsible for the unexpected end of the 89th Academy Awards. Cullinan and his partner, Martha Ruiz, were the only ones who knew who the winners of the big night were. After an investigation, it was determined that Cullinan was the one who gave Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway the wrong envelope.
VER GALERÍA Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty hesitated for a moment about the content of the envelope they were given. Photo: Getty Images
How did this happen? According to the company, Cullinan and his partner were placed next to the stage with a briefcase that contained the 24 envelopes with the names of the winners. Each time a presenter came on the scene, one of them presented him with an envelope, while his other partner had to destroy the duplicate to avoid confusion. Ruiz gave Leonardo DiCaprio the Best Actress envelope and according to the protocols, Brian should have destroyed his.
VER GALERÍA Cullinan and Ruiz were slow to react to the mistake. Photo: Getty Images
However, something distracted him from his important task... According to his latest posts in social media - which were already deleted - the PwC consultant was taking photographs of the winners of the night, including Emma Stone, winner in the category of Best Actress. The image of the protagonist of La La Land appeared in his twitter account six minutes before the painful incident occurred.
VER GALERÍA This is one of the last photos that Cullinan published on Twitter, maybe it was the reason for his distraction. Photo: Twitter
A few seconds after his mistake came disaster... something that had never happened before in the Academy Awards. Cullinan and Ruiz were severely criticized because their response was not quick to correct the error. Before they could realize what had happened, the production team and the cast of La La Land were already on stage giving speeches, when in fact the winning movie was Moonlight.
Through their Twitter account, PricewaterhouseCoopers sent a statement in which they assumed "full responsibility for the series of mistakes and breaches of established protocols during last night’s Oscars." The text continues: "Brian Cullinan mistakenly handed the back-up envelope for Actress in a Leading Role instead of the envelope for Best Picture to presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway." Once the error occurred, "protocols for correcting it were not followed through quickly enough by Mr. Cullinan or his partner."
"We are deeply sorry for the disappointment suffered by the cast and crew of ‘La La Land’ and ‘Moonlight’. We sincerely apologize to Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Jimmy Kimmel, ABC and the Academy, none of whom was at fault for last night’s errors" The consulting firm thanked each of those affected for the generosity they showed at a time as complex as that. The relationship between PwC and the Oscars is not new; they have been working together for 83 years, in which the auditing company has counted the votes of the members of the Academy. Since 2014, Cullinan was the partner of PwC responsible for the relationship with the Hollywood Academy, while Ruiz - who has been in the company for 19 years - was responsible for the process of counting the votes since 2015, that is, these Oscar were the second edition in which she participated directly.
Meanwhile, Tim Ryan, president of PwC US and majority shareholder, gave a statement on the embarrassing moment caused by Cullinan. "At the end of the day, we made a human error," Ryan told USA Today. "We made a serious mistake. What happened was that our partner on the left-hand side of the stage, Brian Cullinan, took the wrong envelope and handed it to Warren Beatty. As soon as we notice that, we notify the corresponding people and corrected the error."