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After Oscars Mishap, PricewaterhouseCoopers Tightens Envelope Procedures

PricewaterhouseCoopers has unveiled a series of changes for this year’s Academy Awards to avoid a repeat of last year’s epic flub of the best picture winner.

“La La Land” was mistaken announced as best picture instead of “Moonlight” after a PwC partner mistakenly handed an envelope for the best actress category — which had already been awarded to Emma Stone for “La La Land — to the presenters of the best picture category, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. The mistake was only corrected when one of the “La La Land” producers announced that “Moonlight” had actually won.

Tim Ryan, PwC’s U.S. chairman and senior partner, told the Associated Press that he will be personally involved with Oscar operations this year. He also said a third balloting partner will sit with Oscar producers in the show’s control room in addition to the two balloting partners stationed on either side of the Dolby Theatre stage — and that person will have a complete set of winners’ envelopes and commit the winners to memory.

Additionally, the two partners who worked on last year’s Academy Awards have been replaced, though both still work for PwC. The new onstage partners overseeing the envelopes are Rick Rosas and Kimberly Bourdon from the company’s Los Angeles office.

The new procedure also provides that both the celebrity presenter and a stage manager will confirm that they’ve been given the correct envelope for the category they are about to present. Additionally, the three balloting partners will attend show rehearsals and practice what to do if something goes wrong.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences instituted a rule last year after the Oscar flub that PwC partners are prohibited from using cellphones or social media during the show.

Nominations for the 90th Academy Awards will be announced Tuesday. Winners will be revealed at the ceremony on March 4.

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