Oscars Ban Accountant Cell Phones After Best Picture Snafu
Anyone who watched the 2017 Oscars last month know that things weren't exactly smooth sailing for the Academy.
Mostly because they totally screwed up the Best Picture envelopes, causing presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway to announce that "La La Land" won, when the real winner was "Moonlight."
Not to be dramatic, but it was pretty much the biggest Oscars disaster I've ever witnessed.
So, in order to avoid something that chaotic from ever happening at the Oscars again, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is making a few changes.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Academy board of governors met for six hours on Tuesday night and decided to implement a few safeguards for next year's show.
The most significant change is that all workers handling the envelopes will no longer be able to have cell phones the night of the show — they will have to hand over their electronic devices before going any where near the stage.
This comes after the accounting firm who counts all the votes for the Academy, PricewaterhouseCoopers, took full responsibility for the Best Picture snafu.
A PwC partner, Brian Cullinan, was the man responsible for handing Warren Beaty the wrong envelope.
Academy CEO Dawn Hudson told the board on Tuesday that she saw Cullinan using his phone to post on social media during the ceremony, after she explicitly asked him not to, causing him to be distracted from his duties.
Photos of Cullinan on his phone that night were also captured by photographers.
Cullinan also apparently threw an Oscars party the night before the show, where he was boasting about knowing the winners, despite the Academy's expectations that accountants maintain professional secrecy.
So while the Academy has decided to continue working with the PwC firm, the accountants will no longer be allowed to use their phones during the show, and from now on will be required to participate in rehearsals. (And Cullinan will not be returning, obviously.)
The Academy will also be introducing a new position for the night of: a person who knows the Oscar winner results in the control room to ensure a faster response if something goes wrong.
So hopefully if a mixup does happen again, people wouldn't have time to actually get on stage as the "La La Land" cast did. Though Ryan Gosling seemed pretty good-natured about the whole thing.