Motion picture academy president confirms two accountants will not return to the Oscars

PricewaterhouseCoopers accountant Brian Cullinan, right, backstage at the Academy Awards on Sunday with actress and presenter Alicia Vikander, holding red winner's envelope, and stage manager John Esposito, left.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences confirmed Wednesday that the two PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants responsible for Sunday’s best picture fiasco won’t be handing out any more Oscar envelopes.

The news came one day after Warren Beatty released a statement demanding that academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs “publicly clarify” once and for all how the bizarre chain of events came to pass.

Isaacs, according to the Associated Press, said PwC accountants Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz “have been permanently removed from all film academy dealings.”


A PwC spokesman confirmed to The Times that Cullinan and Ruiz would not return to the Oscars program but said the two remain partners at PwC.

In a series of events that has quickly been dissected with Zapruder-film-like precision, Cullinan handed Beatty an unopened duplicate envelope for the leading actress award — which had already been presented to Emma Stone for “La La Land” — instead of the envelope containing the winner for best picture. Beatty took to the stage with Faye Dunaway, his costar from “Bonnie and Clyde,” and after Beatty opened the envelope he showed the card to Dunaway, who announced “La La Land” as the winner. In fact, “Moonlight” was the winner of best picture, which was clarified only after a number of minutes, three speeches from “La La Land” producers and much confusion.

The future of the academy’s relationship with PwC could be decided at the next meeting of the Board of Governors on March 28.

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Times staff writers Josh Rotenberg and James Peltz contributed to this report.


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