Academy releases statement explaining and assigning blame for Oscars Best Picture mix-up

The Academy also apologises to 'Moonlight', 'La La Land', Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway.

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has released a statement explaining – and assigning blame for – Sunday night’s already legendary Best Picture blunder.

An embarrassing mix-up saw Warren Beaty and Faye Dunaway, who were announcing the winner, being given the wrong envelope, one containing the winner of the previous category (Emma Stone, Best Actress for La La Land). Halfway through La La Land‘s acceptance speech, it was announced that Moonlight had actually won, sending viewers online into a frenzy.

“We deeply regret the mistakes that were made during the presentation of the Best Picture category during last night’s Oscar ceremony,” the Academy said in a statement shared last night (February 27). “We apologize to the entire cast and crew of La La Land and Moonlight whose experience was profoundly altered by this error. We salute the tremendous grace they displayed under the circumstances. To all involved — including our presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, the filmmakers, and our fans watching worldwide — we apologize.”

The Academy proceeded to explain that professional services film PricewaterhouseCoopers had accepted “full responsibility” for the gaffe.

The Academy added: “For the last 83 years, the Academy has entrusted PwC to handle the critical tabulation process, including the accurate delivery of results. PwC has taken full responsibility for the breaches of established protocols that took place during the ceremony. We have spent last night and today investigating the circumstances, and will determine what actions are appropriate going forward. We are unwaveringly committed to upholding the integrity of the Oscars and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.”

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Meanwhile, PwC has issued its own statement seeking to explain what went wrong. “PwC takes full responsibility for the series of mistakes and breaches of established protocols during last night’s Oscars,” the statement said. “PwC partner Brian Cullinan mistakenly handed the back-up envelope for Actress in a Leading Role instead of the envelope for Best Picture to presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. Once the error occurred, protocols for correcting it were not followed through quickly enough by Mr. Cullinan or his partner.”

The firm added: “We are deeply sorry for the disappointment suffered by the cast and crew of La La Land and Moonlight. We sincerely apologize to Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Jimmy Kimmel, ABC, and the Academy, none of whom was at fault for last night’s errors.”

In the wake of the mix-up, Faye Dunaway was reportedly heard saying: “I really fucked that up.” Meanwhile, Donald Trump has blamed the blunder on too much focus on him in the build-up to this year’s Oscars.

The Oscars also caused controversy on Sunday night after it emerged that a picture of a living woman was shown during the In Memoriam segment.