• PwC Keeps The Oscars Gig

    By | March 29, 2017

    After dealing with weeks of embarrassment, brand damage, ridicule, repeated apologies, rejection and capitulation, PwC has finally caught a break.

    The Hollywood Reporter reports that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided to retain the firm to tabulate the ballots for the Oscars despite the colossal screw-up that happened with the Best Picture envelope.  Sure, it won’t make up for the untold millions they agreed to pay to the plaintiffs in the MF Global trial, but, hey,  it’s something!

    Scott Feinberg of THR has some pretty fun details about the meeting of the Academy’s 54-person board of governors, including the length of the meeting (6 hours!), Tim Ryan apologizing (again!), and that “ballot leader” Brian Cullinan threw a party the night before the ceremony and “frequently boasted about knowing the winners.” Yeesh.

    Oh and, there are a slew of new protocols that will be put in place for next year so this never happens again:

    Under the new protocols: Ryan will take on a greater oversight role: PwC partner Rick Rosas, who was responsible for handing out the winning envelopes from 2002 to 2013, will return to that job, and another PwC employee, to be named in coming months, will join him. In addition, a third balloting leader privy to the results will be seated in the control room to ensure a more rapid response to mistakes in the future; the accountants will take part in the rehearsals; and all accountants will have to hand over their electronic devices before going anywhere near the Oscars stage.

    Partners giving up their phones for approximately 3 hours a year seems like a heavy, but worthwhile, sacrifice to hang on to this one.

    [THR via WSJ]

    • KM

      Typical accounting firm response when something goes wrong: Add more partners

      • Big4Veteran

        The protocols PwC already had in place would have prevented the error (or remedied the error much faster) had the partners been following the protocols and just paying attention.

    • Big4Veteran

      So Brian Cullinan still gets to keep his job? As I’ve said before, if a staff at PwC made a mistake 1/100th as big as Cullinan’s fuck up, his ass would be kicked to the curb in a nanosecond.

      • N.E.R.D.

        “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others”

        • Adam Hill

          More along the lines of “four legs good, two legs bad” from my experience.

      • peakfreak

        Considering he’s the Chairman of the Board for the US Firm, he’s kind of everyone’s boss. Not sure there’s anyone who can fire him.

        • keepin_it_real

          Can the partners not vote him off the Board?

          • peakfreak

            They probably can, but it would certainly take some time for a vote to be called.

          • Commando

            He will serve out his term, then early retire. In the meantime he sits in his office and reads the Wall Street Journal.

        • Big4Veteran

          I remember the good ‘ole days when people would resign in disgrace, because there were things bigger than themselves. Just kidding…I know the business world has never been like that.