How the Oscars plan to prevent another 'Moonlight' mix-up

Feb. 22, 2018

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It’s almost time for the Oscars again, and organizers of the Academy Awards are determined not to repeat 2017’s Moonlight mix-up.

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What happened last year?

At the 2017 Oscars, best picture presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were mistakenly handed the wrong envelope.

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Instead of the best picture winner, they were handed the best actress card, leading to Dunaway announcing La La Land as the best picture winner.

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In the middle of the La La Land team’s acceptance speech, the mistake was realized and Moonlight was given its best picture award.

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To prevent another mistake, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm behind Oscars voting, instituted a host of new changes, the Associated Press reported.

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For starters, the two PwC partners who participated in last year’s ceremony have been replaced for the upcoming ceremony.

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And this year, a third PwC partner will sit in the show’s control room with a complete list of the winners, to catch any slip-ups as they happen.

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Oscars presenters and stage managers will also now have to confirm that the envelope that’s been handed over correctly matches the category being announced.

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All three representatives from PwC will go to show rehearsals and practice plans for if something goes wrong.

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And no PwC reps will be on their phones during the ceremony, to keep everyone focused on handing out the right envelopes.

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Dawn Hudson, CEO of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, doesn’t seem to think this year will bring another high-profile mistake.

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I don't think this error will ever happen again or would happen again. … We put in a lot of protocols to make sure it won't, but I don't think it will anyway.

— Dawn Hudson to the AP

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