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PricewaterhouseCoopers identifies man responsible for Oscars Best Picture mix-up

Nicole Moschella contributed to this report.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm responsible for organizing results and monitoring distribution of awards at the Oscars, has identified the man responsible for a snafu Sunday night in which "La La Land" was mistakenly announced as Best Picture instead of "Moonlight."

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After releasing a statement apologizing to Faye Dunaway, Warren Beatty and the casts and crews of "Moonlight” and “La La Land," the company released another apology, acknowledging that an accountant at the firm is to blame for the mistake.

"PwC takes full responsibility for the series of mistakes and breaches of established protocols during last night's Oscars," the statement says. "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.

"Once the error occurred, protocols for correcting it were not followed through quickly enough by Mr. Cullinan or his partner. We are deeply sorry for the disappointment suffered by the cast and crew of 'La La Land' and 'Moonlight.' We sincerely apologize to Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Jimmy Kimmel, ABC and the Academy, none of whom (were) at fault for (Sunday) night's errors.

"We wish to extend our deepest gratitude to each of them for the graciousness they displayed during such a difficult moment. For the past 83 years, the Academy has entrusted PwC with the integrity of the awards process during the ceremony, and last night we failed the Academy."

pic.twitter.com/uNGSbhgKFt— PwC LLP (@PwC_LLP) February 28, 2017

According to People magazine, Cullinan, who was explicitly told to not use social media during the awards show, tweeted just minutes before accidentally handing Beatty and Dunaway the wrong envelope.

In a now-deleted tweet, Cullinan posted a picture of Emma Stone holding her award backstage after she had accepted the award for Best Actress for her role in "La La Land."

"Brian was asked not to tweet or use social media during the show," an unnamed 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."

According to the source, the blunder may have put PwC's relationship with the Academy Awards in jeopardy.

"The Academy has launched a full-scale review of its relationship with PwC, but it is very complicated," the source told the magazine. "Vote-tallying and the Oscar night job is just one part of what PwC does with the Academy. It is too early to say how this will play out, but everyone is of course taking it very very seriously."

Before the start of the Oscars on Sunday, Cullinan told The Huffington Post that a mishap announcing an incorrect winner was "unlikely," and that if there were a mistake, PwC executives "would make sure that the correct person was known very quickly."

"Whether that entails stopping the show, us walking onstage, us signaling to the stage manager -- that’s really a game-time decision, if something like that were to happen," he said.

>> Here's how the Oscars mix-up for Best Picture happened

"La La Land" producers had already begun their acceptance speeches before being notified of the mix-up.

Cullinan has not publicly commented on the incident or posted on his Twitter account since the mistake on Sunday night.

Tim Ryan, a senior partner and U.S. chairman at PwC, told Variety magazine that he has spoken with Cullinan about the incident.

"He feels very, very terrible and horrible. He is very upset about this mistake. And it is also my mistake, our mistake, and we all feel very bad," Ryan said.

According to Cullinan's Twitter bio, he is a Cornell alumnus and a managing partner for PwC's Southwest region. He is based out of Malibu, California. 

Oscars 2017: Academy issues statement on Best Picture mishap 

Donald Trump says Oscar mix-up was caused by media's focus on him

The accounting firm responsible for tallying Oscar votes and keeping up with envelopes containing the winners has apologized for the Best Picture gaffe at the end of Sunday’s Academy Awards, but President Donald Trump believes the mix-up was actually about him.

>> Read more trending stories  

In an interview with Breitbart, the president said people involved with the awards show were so focused on “attacking him” that attention to detail suffered.

“I think they were focused so hard on politics that they didn’t get the act together at the end,” Trump said. “It was a little sad. It took away from the glamour of the Oscars. It didn’t feel like a very glamorous evening. I’ve been to the Oscars. There was something very special missing, and then to end that way was sad.”

Breitbart noted that the “awful mistake came after hours of Trump-bashing by the Hollywood elites, who hammered the president in joke after joke. Now, the president has got the last laugh as he hammers Hollywood for its epic fail.”

>> Oscars 2017: 'Moonlight' wins Best Picture after 'La La Land' mistakenly announced

>> Here's how the Oscars mix-up for Best Picture happened

Actor Warren Beatty and his “Bonnie and Clyde” costar Faye Dunaway introduced the final trophy of the night, but they received the wrong envelope. Beatty had a quizzical look on his face and Dunaway announced “La La Land,” apparently having read the title.

“Hello. I want to tell you what happened: I opened the envelope, and it said Emma Stone, ‘La La Land.’ I wasn’t trying to be funny,” Beatty told the audience shortly after the mix-up. “This is ‘Moonlight,’ the best picture.”

In a statement, PricewaterhouseCoopers apologized for the snafu.

“We sincerely apologize to “Moonlight,” “La La Land,” Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and Oscar viewers for the error that was made during the award announcement for best picture,” the firm said in a statement. “The presenters had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope and when discovered, was immediately corrected. We are currently investigating how this could have happened, and deeply regret that this occurred. We appreciate the grace with which the nominees, the Academy, ABC, and Jimmy Kimmel handled the situation.”

>> 2017 Oscars: 'Moonlight' Best Picture, complete list of winners

Here's how the Oscars mix-up for Best Picture happened

The audience at Dolby Theater in Los Angeles was visibly confused Sunday night when crew members rushed the stage during "La La Land" producer Jordan Horowitz's acceptance speech for Best Picture. 

Before long, Horowitz looked to the crowd and said: "You guys, I'm sorry, no. There's a mistake. 'Moonlight,' you guys won Best Picture."

>> Oscars 2017: 'Moonlight' wins Best Picture after 'La La Land' mistakenly announced

"Moonlight" did, in fact, win Best Picture. The card that presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty were given was that for Best Actress, which Emma Stone won for her role in "La La Land." 

But many people were confused about what happened and how the snafu had occurred. Stone had already received her award.

"I opened the envelope and it said: Emma Stone, 'La La Land,'" Beatty told the Oscars audience. "That's why I took such a long pause and looked at Faye and at you. I wasn't trying to be funny."

"I also was holding my Best Actress in a Leading Role card that entire time, so whatever story … I don't mean to start stuff, but whatever story that was, I had that card. So I'm not sure what happened," Stone told reporters after the incident

>> 'La La Land's' Emma Stone discusses Oscars award mix-up

#Oscars shocker: Warren Beatty reads the wrong Best Picture winner, 'La La Land' didn't win - 'Moonlight' did. pic.twitter.com/iB6TLxyTn5— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) February 27, 2017

According to the Los Angeles Times, the accident was a result of a process in which duplicate envelopes are produced for each category winner.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, the company responsible for organizing results and monitoring distribution of awards at the Oscars for the last 83 years, creates two copies of each winning envelope "partly as another security measure and also to aid the show's flow," the Times reported.

Crew members wait at each end of the stage with signature briefcases holding the results, which they give to presenters.  

"The remaining, unstuffed envelopes and nominee cards are shipped to a second secret location, just in case some disaster prevents access to the completed sets. After the ceremony, unused cards and envelopes are destroyed by an industrial document-destruction company," according to the Times. 

The year, PricewaterhouseCoopers partners Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz were in charge of the briefcases and handing out the envelopes for each of the 24 categories. The assigned officials hand presenters their category's envelope before the presenters go on stage. According to the Associated Press, the accountants are also supposed to memorize the winners. 

>> PricewaterhouseCoopers identifies man responsible for Oscars Best Picture mix-up

>> 2017 Oscars: 'Moonlight' Best Picture, complete list of winners

Cullinan was stationed on the right side of the stage, where most presenters entered the stage on Sunday night.

The award that was presented prior to the Best Picture award was Best Actress, which Ruiz handed to the previous presenter, Leonardo DiCaprio. Cullinan had the second copy, which he accidentally handed to Beatty and Dunaway.

A zoomed in photo showed Beatty holding the envelope for Best Actress.  

The envelope in Warren Beatty's hands read "ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE" when announcing Best Picture. #Oscars https://t.co/j1KdSvyI98 pic.twitter.com/ciXOLdqaIy— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 27, 2017

Beatty told the AP on Tuesday that he wants the Academy to "publicly clarify what happened as soon as possible." 

The Academy Awards apologized on Monday, with the following statement

"We deeply regret the mistakes that were made during the presentation of the Best Picture category during last night’s Oscar ceremony. We apologize to the entire cast and crew of of 'La La Land' and 'Moonlight' whose experience was profoundly altered by this error. We salute the tremendous grace they displayed under the circumstances. To all involved  -- including our presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, the filmmakers, and our fans watching worldwide  --  we apologize.

"For the last 83 years, the Academy has entrusted PwC to handle the critical tabulation process, including the accurate delivery of results. PwC has taken full responsibility for the breaches of established protocols that took place during the ceremony. We have spent last night and today investigating the circumstances, and will determine what actions are appropriate going forward. We are unwaveringly committed to upholding the integrity of the Oscars and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences."

>> Read more trending stories  

PricewaterhouseCoopers apologized early Monday morning and again on Monday night. 

"We sincerely apologize to 'Moonlight,' 'La La Land,' Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway and Oscar viewers for the error that was made during the award announcement for best picture," the company said in a statement. "The presenters had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope and when discovered, was immediately corrected. We are currently investigating how this could have happened and deeply regret that this occurred. We appreciate the grace with which the nominees, the Academy, ABC and Jimmy Kimmel handled the situation."

pic.twitter.com/oGJkXytnQ2— PwC LLP (@PwC_LLP) February 27, 2017

The second apology read as follows: 

"PwC takes full responsibility for the series of mistakes and breaches of established protocols during last night's Oscars," the statement said. "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.

"Once the error occurred, protocols for correcting it were not followed through quickly enough by Mr. Cullinan or his partner. We are deeply sorry for the disappointment suffered by the cast and crew of 'La La Land' and 'Moonlight.' We sincerely apologize to Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Jimmy Kimmel, ABC and the Academy, none of whom (were) at fault for (Sunday) night's errors.

"We wish to extend our deepest gratitude to each of them for the graciousness they displayed during such a difficult moment. For the past 83 years, the Academy has entrusted PwC with the integrity of the awards process during the ceremony, and last night we failed the Academy."

pic.twitter.com/uNGSbhgKFt— PwC LLP (@PwC_LLP) February 28, 2017

Jenna Bush Hager offers emotional apology after Golden Globes mistake

Social media users set Twitter ablaze with #HiddenFences after Jenna Bush Hager, daughter of former President George W. Bush, accidentally combined movie titles "Hidden Figures" and "Fences" while interviewing Pharrell Williams at the 2017 Golden Globes.

"you're nominated for Hidden Fences" pic.twitter.com/7My6dtEkbG— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) January 9, 2017

On Monday, an emotional Hager appeared on NBC's "Today" to address the mistake.

WATCH: "If I offended people, I am deeply sorry. It was a mistake... I am not perfect."@JennaBushHager on Golden Globes red carpet mistake pic.twitter.com/0dOLPHuJCO— TODAY (@TODAYshow) January 9, 2017

Hager said that she is "deeply sorry" that she made an error in combining the two films and that she was caught up in the "electricity" of the red carpet, as it was her first one.

"I have seen both movies. I thought they were both brilliant. If I offended people, I am deeply sorry," she said with tears in her eyes. "It was a mistake. I am not perfect."

She also added that she interviewed cast members from both films.

>> Read more trending stories  

Al Roker defended his coworker, joking about some of his own interview mistakes. He admitted to confusing actress Jessica Biel’s name for actress Jessica Alba's during the same event.

"All of us who know you know your heart and know that was a mistake," Roker said. "We've all been there. Honest mistakes happen in live television."

Williams also publicly forgave Hager, tweeting, "Don't worry (Jenna Bush Hager)! Everyone makes mistakes. Hidden Fences does sound like an intriguing movie."

Don't worry @JennaBushHager!Everyone makes mistakes. Hidden Fences does sound like an intriguing movie though. Just saying...— Pharrell Williams (@Pharrell) January 9, 2017

"Hidden Figures" and "Fences," which both feature a primarily black cast, were released nearly two weeks apart. "Hidden Figures," released in January, is a dramatic retelling of black women employed by NASA who helped send Americans to space using advanced mathematics. It stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and singer Janelle Monáe. "Fences," released in December, is a dramatization of the popular play written by August Wilson. This film stars Denzel Washington and Viola Davis.

Mel Gibson, Vince Vaughn didn't appear to appreciate Meryl Streep's speech

At the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards Sunday night, Meryl Streep was the recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award.

The 67-year-old actress accepted her award with a speech in which she criticized President-elect Donald Trump without mentioning his name.

>> Read more trending stories  

Though Streep's political acceptance speech was greeted with applause, there were at least two Hollywood A-listers in the audience who didn't seem enthused.

When the camera panned to Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn during Streep's speech, the two men seemed displeased with her message. Twitter users were quick to point out and analyze the men's expressions. 

<iframe src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/mel-gibson-vince-vaughn-react-to-meryl-streep-s-gg/embed?header=none&amp;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe> <script src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/mel-gibson-vince-vaughn-react-to-meryl-streep-s-gg.js?header=none&amp;border=false"></script> [View the story "Mel Gibson, Vince Vaughn react to Meryl Streep's GG speech" on Storify]

Streep said in her speech that there were "many powerful performances this year," but there was one that "stunned" her and "sank its hooks in (her) heart."

"Not because it was good," she said. "There was nothing good about it. But it was effective, and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter -- someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart," she said.

Gibson and Vaughn can be seen staring up at Streep at the 5:08 mark:  

At tonight's #GoldenGlobes we honor Hollywood legend Meryl Streep with the prestigious Cecil B. Demille Award. pic.twitter.com/dxpeCDNXY6— Golden Globe Awards (@goldenglobes) January 9, 2017

Trump responded to Streep's comments Monday by publishing a series of tweets criticizing her, including a comment in which he called her "one of the most overrated actresses in Hollywood."

Donald Trump calls Meryl Streep 'overrated' after her Golden Globes speech

During an acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards, Meryl Streep addressed President-elect Donald Trump.

 >> Read more trending stories 

"An actor's only job is to enter the lives of people who are different from us and let you feel what that feels like, and there are many, many performances this year that did just that," she said. "There was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good. It was because it did its job. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter. Someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart and I still can't get it out of my head because it wasn't in a movie. It was real life."

Trump denied making fun of journalist Serge Kovaleski during a 2015 rally, but was highly criticized for flailing his arms and mocking Kovaleski.

Streep also referenced Trump's proposed plan to build a wall between Mexico and the U.S. and to ban Muslims from the country, as well as his previous demands for President Barack Obama's birth certificate.

"Amy Adams was born in Vicenza, Italy. And Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem," she said. "Where are their birth certificates? And the beautiful Ruth Negga was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, raised in London -- no, in Ireland I do believe -- and she's here nominated for playing a girl in small-town Virginia. Ryan Gosling, like all of the nicest people, is Canadian, and Dev Patel was born in Kenya, raised in London, and is here playing an Indian raised in Tasmania.

"Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners. If we kick them all out, you'll have nothing to watch but football and Mixed Martial Arts -- which are not the arts."

In response, Trump took to Twitter Monday, calling the actress "overrated" and "a Hillary flunky." 

Trump asserted "for the 100th time" that he did not ridicule Kovaleski.

Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn't know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes. She is a.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2017

Hillary flunky who lost big. For the 100th time, I never "mocked" a disabled reporter (would never do that) but simply showed him.......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2017

"groveling" when he totally changed a 16 year old story that he had written in order to make me look bad. Just more very dishonest media!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2017

Whoopi Goldberg calls for year-long focus on Oscars diversity

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Whoopi Goldberg led a spirited discussion of the diversity missing from this year’s Oscars acting nominees on "The View" Monday morning, calling for a sustained focus on the issue.

>> Read more trending stories  

"This fight is only going to go on if people realize there’s an issue. Not just during the Academy Awards, during the year," she said. "That’s what’s going to make the change."

In response to widespread outrage over the lack of acting-nominee diversity the Academy announced a number of new guidelines aimed at change. "Selma" director Ava DuVernay applauded the move as a "one good step" in the right direction:

While some, including director Spike Lee and acting couple Jada Pinkett and Will Smith, are among those calling for boycott action, Ice Cube likened the Oscars outrage to "crying about not having enough icing on your cake."

"We don’t do movies for the industry," he said during an interview with Graham Norton. "We do movies for the fans, for the people, If the industry gives you a trophy or not, or pats you on the back or not, it’s nice, but it’s not something you should dwell on."

Here's that clip:

Area fighters boxing to benefit vets

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