Oscars blunder sparks new rules backstage for PwC accountants

The organisers of the Oscars will continue using accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers despite last month's blunder that led to the wrong film being named best picture.

Brian Cullinan, one of two PwC representatives backstage, incorrectly gave Hollywood star Warren Beatty the envelope containing the name of the best actress winner - La La Land's Emma Stone.

Beatty's fellow gong presenter Faye Dunaway then wrongly announced to the audience, and millions of people watching at home on TV, that the musical had won the top prize.

La La Land's makers and cast started celebrating on stage, before it was soon revealed by one of the producers that Moonlight had in fact triumphed.

New rules will be introduced from next year following a "thorough review" of the incident, said Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs.

The accountants will be banned from using electronic devices backstage, including posting on social media such as Twitter.

Mr Cullinan had tweeted photos before the infamous mix-up, including one of Stone backstage.

Ms Boone Isaacs said Mr Cullinan's distraction caused the error on 26 February.

It has also been decided a third PwC accountant will work in the Oscars control room, who would be able to immediately tell the director if there was a mistake.

Other new measures include closer checks of the winners' envelopes on stage and rehearsals with the accountants before the ceremony, Ms Boone Isaacs added.

In a letter to members, she announced the "board has decided to continue working with PwC", which tallies up their votes for different categories in the awards.

Cullinan and fellow PwC accountant Martha Ruiz were told they would never work at the Oscars again following the most high-profile error in the show's history.

PwC took responsibility for the shambles, saying the pair made "a series of mistakes" and failed to follow established backstage protocols.

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