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.