Who says being an accountant is dull? The two PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants in charge of handing out the envelopes during the 2017 Academy Awards have been fired, and will apparently never be allowed to work at the Oscars again.
Let's be honest: it was a pretty likely outcome. The infamous envelope mixup that led to the wrong winner being announced for Best Picture caused a massive amount of controversy and embarrassment for the #Oscars, which they're not likely to live down anytime soon.
Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz were partners at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Their job was to ensure the correct envelopes were handed out to hosts. Cullinan had apparently been tweeting moments before handing over the wrong envelope for Best Picture; a mistake that has now cost both him and Ruiz their jobs.
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"It Was Beyond Disappointing"
According to Cosmopolitan, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs made a statement on the embarrassing blunder, expressing her disbelief that Cullinan and Ruiz failed to prevent such a mishap:
"They have one job to do. One job to do! Obviously there was a distraction."
Boone Isaacs confirmed that Cullinan and Ruiz would never work with the Academy again. She also said she was disappointed that the incident overshadowed the entire ceremony:
"And what angered me, I would say, in these last couple days is (the focus on) this 90 seconds and moving to the side the brilliance of the day."
Who's Really To Blame?
It's clear by now that the whole envelope mixup wasn't part of an elaborate prank by Jimmy Kimmel, or simply Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty having a senior moment. The wrong envelope was handed over, and someone's responsible. But was it really the fault of the two recently-fired accountants, or is someone else to blame? Let's take a look at the culprits:
1. Emma Stone
The distracting tweet that resulted in the envelope incident was actually a photo of Emma Stone. Cullinan deleted the tweet soon after posting it, but not fast enough. This really begs the question: are celebrities too distracting to have at awards ceremonies? Should they be forbidden from wearing stunning outfits due to the distracting allure of all that shiny material? And was this all part of Emma Stone's plan to humiliate both herself and her La La Land colleagues?
If Black Mirror has taught us anything, it's that social media can have a toxic effect on our lives. Cullinan was so obsessed with showcasing his fabulous job that he allowed it to cost him his career. Looks like someone's going to need to take a bit of a digital detox soon.
3. The Academy
Boone Isaacs told Cosmopolitan that PwC's protocols have "have worked for 83 years", but this year's awards clearly exposed a flaw in the system:
"We are reviewing those protocols, of course. Because it never happened before and we never are going to have it happen again. And we are setting new guidelines, new protocols and really re-examining every step to make sure this never, ever, ever happens."
It's obvious that the Academy placed a little too much faith in PwC's system, and perhaps hadn't put enough time and energy into quality assurance. But then again, what system can really safeguard against the possibility of an employee getting distracted by social media on the job?
4. Probably Just This Guy
While both Cullinan and his fellow briefcase-keeper, Ruiz, were fired for the incident, it was Cullinan who handed over the wrong envelope after getting distracted by Twitter. His careless actions caused someone else to lose their job. It's a hard lesson to learn, but it's also deeply unfortunate that someone else had to suffer the consequences.
We may know who's to blame, but the real question is: How would Steve Harvey react? Exactly like this, probably: