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How Oscars will avoid another catastrophe

LAST year's Oscars stuff-up will live on forever in TV infamy - and organisers are doing everything they can to ensure it never happens again.

PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz became forever linked to the worst awards show mistake in history after handing presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beattie the incorrect envelope for Best Picture winner at the 2017 ceremony.

La La Land's cast and crew had already accepted their awards and were delivering their 'thank you' speeches by the time organisers realised Moonlight was the real winner.

After the gaffe, PwC issued a statement saying they "deeply regret" what occurred and apologised to the producers, presenters, viewers and actors involved.

And they're taking serious measures to prevent a repeat occurrence, according to Variety.

The company's US chairman Tim Ryan told the Associated Press that for the first time, he will be personally involved with Oscar operations this year.

He also said a third balloting partner will sit with the show's producers in the control room, in addition to the original ballot partners positioned on either side of the Dolby Theatre stage - and that person will not only hold a complete set of winners' envelopes, but will have them committed to memory.

While both Mr Cullinan and Ms Ruiz are still employed by PwC as accountants, they have - unsurprisingly - been relieved of their Oscars duties.

Their position had been described as the "coolest job an accountant can have" and it's no easy gig to get.

Mr Cullinan has had 30 years' experience and had been leading the ballot team since 2014, while Ms Ruiz joined the team as co-leader in 2015 after 10 years behind the scenes.

Both of them had been excitedly tweeting behind the scenes news in the lead up to the event and conducting interviews with international television stations.

Soon after the monumental mistake played out on stage, it was revealed the pair had been posting pictures on social media backstage, prompting the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to issue a ban on PwC partners using phones during the show.

This year's Oscars are being held on March 4th (airing March 5th in Australia.)

Topics:  la la land mixup moonlight oscars overhaul


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