Oscars balloting co-leader Martha Ruiz and her co-worker Brian Cullinan were embroiled in one of the biggest gaffes of The Academy Awards’ history this weekeend.
Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz, the two PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants involved in the major Best Picture mixup between “La La Land” and “Moonlight” at the 2017 Oscars, won’t be returning to the ceremony in the future.
Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the president of the Academy, confirmed the news to the AP on Wednesday.
“Cullinan and his colleague, Martha Ruiz, have been permanently removed from all film academy dealings,” the AP reported. The PwC accountants had been tasked with handling all of the results at this year’s Academy Awards, walking the results-filled briefcases down the red carpet and handing out the winners’ envelopes to presenters throughout the night.
The news comes hours after it was revealed that Cullinan, who actually handed the incorrect envelope to presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway backstage, tweeted a photo of Emma Stone just before the mishap, despite being asked not to post on social media during the show.
“Brian was asked not to tweet or use social media during the show,” a source told People. “He was fine to tweet before he arrived at the red carpet, but once he was under the auspices of the Oscar night job, that was to be his only focus. Tweeting right before the Best Picture category was announced was not something that should have happened.”
Earlier in the week, PwC released a statement confirming that Cullinan was indeed the man responsible for the physical mixup, though the firm ultimately took the blame for the mistake.
“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,” the statement read. “Once the error occurred, protocols for correcting it were not followed through quickly enough by Mr. Cullinan or his partner.”