Should have used lawyers: Are PwC accountants to blame for ‘La La Land’ Oscars blunder?

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Big Four firm responsible for counting the ballots and collating the winners

Two top PwC accountants have found themselves caught up in a star-studded cock-up after La La Land was wrongly named ‘Best Picture’ at the 2017 Oscars.

In cringe-inducing scenes (video below), ‘La La Land’ — a romantic musical starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone — was incorrectly announced as the winner of the coveted award at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, yesterday evening.

The actual winner — much to embarrassment of Oscars staff — was ‘Moonlight’. Creating mass confusion both in the audience and for viewers at home, stars were left milling around the stage as producers desperately tried to correct the error.

It has now been suggested that Martha Ruiz and Brian Cullinan, two of PwC’s finest accountancy minds, may have been involved in the mix-up. According to the Mail Online, the duo — who are both partners at the firm — were responsible “collating the winners” and “transporting them to the awards ceremony to hand out to presenters ahead of each prize-giving.”

In a move that will leave lawyers feeling rather smug, a spokesperson for PwC — which has counted votes and provided the winners envelopes for over 80 years — said that the presenters “had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope”. The spokesperson added that when this was discovered, it “was immediately corrected”.

Hopefully PwC will draft in some of their top accountancy legal minds for next year’s awards.

Having obtained their Alternative Business Structure (ABS) in 2014, the outfit — under the name PwC Legal — launched its first ever training contract offering shortly after. Now dishing out around 25 training positions annually, the starting salary in London is £39,000 a year.

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Oh come on…. the envelopes were mixed up. It was a runner’s mistake, not PwC’s.

But hey, anything to try and make a “law” story out of something and try to blow more smoke up lawyers’ backsides huh?



Urm, no – not a runner. The two accountants give the envelopes to the presenter!



Also, didn’t Emma stone already win her award? So why was there another ballot envelope for her…



hiya, can we have some articles on music / art / culture as a little change from hum drum legal trivia. there is more to life than squeezing every drop out of the rancid lemon of law stories that do the rounds on all online publications such as rollonfriday lawgazette and so on. i find it narrow and depressing.



there is more to life than this… even if it is just staring at wall for half an hour, time better spent than reading LC. Just my opinion. Sparing just 10 minutes on reading LC seems like a waste. No disrespect to the authors and editorial staff (who spend an inordinate amount of time taking flack from readers, who in turn, also ironically, spend an inordinate amount of time setting up law students in the cross hairs of their articles so an anonymous readership can bully and heckle them – its true) but it just is such a waste.



music / art / culture —–>



This is an extraordinarily tenuous link to law and the legal profession, even by LC’s standards…



Next week: LC’s article on how Leicester City would have won the league again if Claudio Ranieri had trained as a lawyer in the summer.



Is this why my best actor nomination hasn’t come through yet?



How much cash is going to be gained by whoever sues and by whom, please?



And that means that lawyers aren’t going to make such a mistake? How many times have lawyers tried to use the recall function on email because they f**ked up sending the wrong document/email to the wrong person, or stupidly used the reply all option in the wrong circumstances.



Also PwC has been offering training contracts for over 15 years not since 2014…



Because lawyers are famed for their ability to count of course…


Scep Tick

“The spokesperson added that when this was discovered, it “was immediately corrected”.”

Wasn’t immediate, was it? They’d dished out the Oscars and were nearly at the end of the speeches before someone sussed.

Anyway. Given that the accountancy profession missed a £12,000,000,000 hole in RBS’ accounts, it’s not surprising they missed an envelope.



big hole right there. yum.



Tenuous and so many other media outlets did this to death that it really is not needed.


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