It doesn’t sound too difficult: guard the winning Academy Awards envelopes with your life, then, when the moment is right, hand the correct envelope to the presenter and VOILA your job is done.
That’s exactly what Brian Cullinan, one half of the two PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) employees who were in charge of the Oscars envelopes on Hollywood’s night of nights, thought when he discussed his upcoming gig in an interview with Medium just two weeks before the ceremony.
“The producers decide what the order of the awards will be. We each have a full set. I have all 24 envelopes in my briefcase; Martha [his PwC partner who also works at the awards] has all 24 in hers,” Brian said, when asked to explain his role during the show.
“We stand on opposite sides of the stage, right off-screen, for the entire evening, and we each hand the respective envelope to the presenter.
Listen: The Recap team debriefs on the drama of the 2017 Oscars. (Post continues after audio.)
“It doesn’t sound very complicated, but you have to make sure you’re giving the presenter the right envelope.”
They’re the words that are now coming back to haunt him after last night’s epic blunder: La La Land was announced as the winner of the night’s biggest award, Best Picture, before it was revealed Moonlight had actually won.
It’s since been revealed that an envelope “mix-up” was to blame.
— ABC News (@ABC) February 27, 2017