The Oscars went viral yesterday after a big mistake was made during the announcement of winners. Just when people thought something as scandalous as Miss Universe 2016 will not happen again, another big blooper made headlines. In one of the biggest events of the year, the wrong winner was announced and the world became a witness to it.
Oscar Mishap Blamed to Brian Cullinan
One of the biggest crimes of an event like this is to have your award taken from you. Those nominated are prepared for this, those that win, however, are not. This is what La La Land experienced when the wrong winner was announced after the film’s team accepted the award.
One of two PriceWaterHouseCooper partners who handled the Oscar envelopes, Brian Cullinan, made the big blooper. According to Variety, he was busy tweeting from backstage just minutes before handing over the red envelope to Warren Beatty. He was live tweeting the event and was not solely focus on his job. He reportedly pulled an envelope from the wrong pile. This explained why Beatty, who presented Best Picture, look confused when he opened the envelope. While the whole chaos was happening, he was reportedly taking pictures with Emma Stone.
The senior partner and U.S. Chairman of PWC, Tim Ryan, spoke to Cullinan about what happened after the event. Ryan stated that Cullinan felt terrible and horrible about what happened. He was incredibly upset about not fulfilling his responsibility that evening.
Brian Cullinan Knew the Winners Days Before the Oscar
He had been doing the job for two years. He had always been one of only two people who knew all the winners to the event since 2014. According to a report from Forbes which was published ahead of the mishap, Cullinan and Ruiz were the only people who already knew the results on Friday, ahead of the ceremony on Sunday. All envelops were first hidden in a classified location inside two different briefcases and only Cullinan and Ruiz knew of this. During the awarding day, these two briefcases were transported via two different cars to the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, California. Forbes notes that Ruiz and Cullinan were also the only people tasked to deliver the envelopes to the presenters as the awarding happens. Specifically, their job was to stand in different places, listen to the announcements being made and make sure everything is going smoothly.
Oddly enough, Forbes asked Ruiz about the possibility of a Steve Harvey mishap happening during the awards ceremony. Ruiz said it was “extremely unlikely.” She stressed that she and Cullinan were both there to assure that the results were 100 percent correct. If in any case there was a mistake, it was also their job to inform the stage managers and producers. However, judging by what transpired on Sunday, this was not what happened.
Who is Brian Cullinan?
It was in 2014 when he became the official counter for the Oscar. In an interview with Time Magazine, he said that as an accountant, counting the data and knowing the winners ahead of the world is as much fun as one could have. He graduated from the Cornell University. He majored in psychology but later shifted to accounting. His name became familiar to people when his photo was featured by the Los Angeles Times in the same year. Cate Blanchett joked about snatching the briefcase from him of which he coyly protected too. Interestingly, the briefcase Blanchett was trying to snatch was the one which indicated that she won the best actress award.
In 2016, Cullinan also became a social media viral sensation. He took a photo with Matt Damon at the time. People were quick to see that he resembled the actor.
— Brian Cullinan (@briancullinan_) February 29, 2016
— Brian Cullinan (@briancullinan_) February 24, 2017
— Brian Cullinan (@briancullinan_) October 4, 2016