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These pictures show exactly how the Oscars catastrophe went down

Published Mar 2nd, 2017 5:18PM EST
Oscars 2017 Mistake

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The Oscar best picture set a new high bar for live TV screwups. Even though we’ve had an explanation for what happened — an accountant wasn’t on his game — it’s still difficult to understand how such a rookie mistake gets made at such a crucial point.

Luckily, the Oscars being Oscars, we have some behind-the-scenes footage to help explain.

Brian Cullinan was the PwC partner responsible for handing over the incorrect envelope. A newly uncovered series of photos from a wire photographer behind the scenes shows exactly what went wrong.

In the series of images, found by Variety, you can clearly see Cullinan with the two last envelopes of the night, presumably Best Picture and Best Actress. Notably, Cullinan was also holding a phone, which he would use moments later to take a photo of Emma Stone and tweet it out.

best-picture-flub-1-4 2-envelopes-and-a-phone  best-picture-flub-3-2 best-picture-flub-6-3

best-picture-flub-7-2Image source: ANDREW WALKER/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

That tweet was later deleted.

brian-cullinan-tweetImage source: ANDREW WALKER/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

It’s an unfortunate turn of events for PwC and Cullinan, who have been doing the Oscars voting control for a long time. PwC has announced that the Cullinan and his partner will not being doing the Oscars in the future, although they do remain with PwC.

So there you have it: much like distracted driving, distracted handling of the Oscar awards ceremony can lead to disaster, tears, and a rather messy result.

Chris Mills
Chris Mills News Editor

Chris Mills has been a news editor and writer for over 15 years, starting at Future Publishing, Gawker Media, and then BGR. He studied at McGill University in Quebec, Canada.