Stepping on the red carpet at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, PricewaterhouseCoopers accounts Martha Ruiz and Brian Cullinan were armed with suitcases containing the top-secret Oscar results.
They followed in the footsteps of former colleagues: Every year at the Academy Awards, two accountants from PwC pose for photos before the ceremony.
But this year —for the first time in the Academy’s 89-year history — the great lengths the firm goes to ensure the night goes smoothly were overshadowed by La La Land‘s naming as Best Picture winner, only for frantic producers to run out on stage and crown Moonlight.
What is known so far is that Warren Beatty was handed a Best Actress in a Leading Role envelope — clearly seen in photos — even though winner Emma Stone had already walked off with the envelope Leonardo DiCaprio read from moments earlier when he presented her with the award.
All had seemed calm as Cullinan and even PwC all tweeted out photos of the briefcases from before and during the show, even fortuitously captioning one photo by saying Cullinan and Ruiz were keeping “watch over the envelopes.”
It remains to be seen how a duplicate envelope found its way on stage, but there’s one thing that is not up for debate — it made for the most talked-about moment of the night!