On the one hand, perhaps the 24-hour media frenzy #EnvelopeGate has spiraled into is undeserved. After all, these are the Oscars we’re talking about — an annual awards telecast (with dwindling numbers) during which the film industry’s elite members pat themselves on the back. On the other hand, Moonlight was the actual Best Picture winner and, despite the initial announcement, La La Land was not — resulting in a hugely awkward conclusion to a nearly four hour-long program. PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants Brian Cullinan and Martha L. Ruiz have already explained themselves to the media, but according to a new report, there’s more to it than a confused Warren Beatty.
Per the Wall Street Journal, Cullinan, one of the two people responsible for the envelopes, was busily tweeting about Best Actress winner Emma Stone mere moments before Beatty and co-presenter Faye Dunaway went on stage with the wrong envelope. “Best Actress Emma Stone backstage!” he exclaimed in a tweet that, along with several other alleged posts from the evening, were excised from his account some time on Monday. Currently, the most recent tweet is from the hour before the ceremony began.
According to USA Today‘s behind-the-scenes account, one of the two PwC accountants exclaimed, “He took the wrong envelope!” when Dunaway announced La La Land as the winner with Beatty. Whether this was Cullinan or Ruiz isn’t revealed. Considering the surprise they apparently demonstrated as soon as La La Land was announced, however, it sounds an awful lot like they were too busy paying attention to something else.
The Wall Street Journal further clarifies that it was Cullinan, and not Ruiz, who handed Beatty the incorrect envelope. It was supposed to be Cullinan’s copy of the Best Picture award announcement, but was instead his duplicate of the Best Actress envelope that Ruiz had earlier given to Leonardo DiCaprio.
(Via The Wall Street Journal)