Overnight we found out exactly what caused the biggest Oscars WTF moment in history when the award for Best Picture mistakenly went to ‘La La Land’ instead of ‘Moonlight’ on Sunday. The Academy and PwC, the accountancy firm in charge of crunching the voting numbers, have both issued statements on Twitter.
And, as everyone guessed, the monumental cock-up came after presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were given the wrong envelope. Kind of brutally, PwC has named and shamed the employee responsible: ‘PwC takes full responsibility for the series of mistakes,’ the company’s statement begins, ‘PwC partner Brian Cullinan mistakenly handed the back-up envelope for Actress in a Leading Role instead of the envelope for Best Picture to Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway.’
PwC has been in charge of sums at the Oscars for 83 years so you'd expect the whole thing to run like clockwork. The company goes on to apologise to everyone concerned. ‘We are deeply sorry for the disappointment suffered by the cast and crew of “La La Land” and “Moonlight”.’
In its statement the Academy also apologised to the filmmakers: ‘We deeply regret the mistakes that were made during the presentation of the Best Picture category during last night’s Oscar ceremony. We apologise to the entire cast and crew of "La La Land" and "Moonlight" whose experience was profoundly altered by this error. We salute the tremendous grace they displayed under the circumstances.’
On Twitter ‘Moonlight’ director Barry Jenkins paid tribute to hero of the night, 'La La Land' producer Jordan Horowitz, who took control of the fiasco, telling the stunned audience: 'I'm really proud to hand this to my friends from "Moonlight".' (While 'WHAT IS HAPPENING?' trended on Twitter.)
Oh, and while we’re on Barry Jenkin’s Twitter feed, here he is on the morning of the Oscars, doing an emergency launderette run to get clean socks!