Pair responsible for Oscars Best Picture mistake ‘hire bodyguards after receiving death threats’

PricewaterhouseCoopers employees Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz have been banned from future ceremonies

The two people responsible for the embarrassing Best Picture mix-up during the Oscars at the weekend have reportedly been hired bodyguards after receiving death threats from the public.

The incident on Sunday night 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.

PricewaterhouseCoopers employees Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz have since been from future Oscars ceremonies after they were deemed responsible for the envelope error.

TMZ reports that the pair are “in such fear for their lives, their bosses have hired security to protect them”. Their families are also being protected, the report states, after photos of their respective homes surfaced online.

The Academy’s president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, said yesterday (March 1) that Cullinan and Ruiz will never work on Oscars night again. “They have one job to do. One job to do!” Boone Isaacs told the Associated Press. “Obviously there was a distraction.”

She also praised Beatty for his handling of the situation, saying: “Warren, he took charge there. He took charge of a situation that he did not create.” La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz also earned praise from the Academy present because, she said, he “went from a nominee to a winner to a presenter” in such a short space of time.

PwC has already issued a statement explaining and apologising for Sunday night’s mistake. It read: “PwC takes full responsibility for the series of mistakes and breaches of established protocols during last night’s Oscars. 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.”

Meanwhile, both La La Land director Damien Chazelle and Moonlight director Barry Jenkins have spoken about the now-infamous Oscars Best Picture mix-up in a new interview.

Jenkins also recently revealed what he wanted to say during his acceptance speech.