Brian Cullinan, the accountant whom PricewaterhouseCoopers blamed for causing the chaotic Best Picture mix-up at the Academy Awards on Sunday night, tweeted a photo of Emma Stone just minutes before handing presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway the wrong envelope for Best Picture.
In the now-deleted tweet, Cullinan shared a photo of the Best Actress winner smiling while holding her award backstage. The time stamp shows it was posted at 9:05 p.m., only minutes before the Best Picture blunder occurred.
Cullinan has not publicly commented or posted on his Twitter account since the embarrassing blunder, although his PwC partner Martha Ruiz shared a selfie from the red carpet with Cullinan and Michael Strahan after the accounting firm took responsibility for the error.
PwC, the accounting firm that counts and delivers the winning Oscars envelopes, has publicly taken the blame for the incident in which La La Land was called as the Best Picture winner over the actual honoree, Moonlight.
A statement from PwC to PEOPLE read: “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 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.”
PwC also said that Cullinan and his associate, Martha Ruiz, did not follow protocol for correcting the error “quickly enough.” They only appeared onstage after multiple La La Land creators gave speeches – more than two minutes after La La Land was incorrectly named the winner.
Ahead of the show, both Ruiz and Cullinan seemed assured that no mistake of that kind would be made.
Cullinan told The Huffington Post before the ceremony that if a wrong winner were to be called, “We 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 added, “Again, it’s so unlikely.”