BARCELONA, Spain — The accountant responsible for the Oscars best-picture screwup is still in his job, although he is “devastated” by the fallout from his mistake.
Brian Cullinan is a partner at PwC, the global accounting firm that handles vote counting for the Academy Awards, and on Sunday night he handed a host the wrong envelope — resulting in the wrong winner being announced for the coveted best-picture award, the biggest mistake in the history of the glitzy ceremony.
“He’s really devastated by what happened and some of the issues that were out there, and what’s been said by the press,” PwC global chairman Bob Moritz told Business Insider in an interview at tech conference Mobile World Congress on Wednesday morning. “Not only him but also his family.”
When asked if Cullinan was still at PwC following the incident, Moritz indicated that he was still in the same role.
“Brian is a partner at PwC, and I won’t comment any more specifically on him,” he said. “The reality is, with respect to Brian, he’s been put out there pretty prominently unfortunately. He’s devastated by all this, and I hope that the passage of time allow us to move on.”
It’s unclear whether action will be taken against Cullinan.
Cullinan has been subjected to a firestorm of criticism. Front-page stories from the New York Post and New York Daily News labelled him a “twit” and a “loser,” and the Mail Online called him a “bungling bean counter” and published photos of his family.
Moritz said the accountant was “devastated” by what’s been said by the press.
PwC, formerly known as PricewaterhouseCoopers, has administered the vote counting for the Oscars for the past 83 years.
An unnamed source told People that “The Academy has launched a full-scale review of its relationship with PwC but it is very complicated.” In a statement, the Academy said it would take “appropriate” actions.
Moritz would not comment on whether the contract with the Academy was up for renegotiation as a result of the mistake.
“I can’t comment around the specifics of our relationship with the academy,” he said. “It’s a client situation and we keep that confidential. What I can tell you is since it’s happened we’ve been working night and day with the Academy, we continue to work with the Academy.”
Cullinan posted a photo of “La La Land” actress Emma Stone on Twitter shortly before the mistake, which led to speculation that he was distracted when he was supposed to be handing out the correct envelope.
The tweet was later deleted.
Cullinan has yet to make a public statement about the mixup.
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