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January 29, 2023

Reminder: EY Will Be Counting Ballots for This Weekend’s Golden Globes

If you tune in to watch the Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 6 and see three snappily dressed people with silver briefcases handcuffed to their wrists, you’ll know that they are the representatives from EY, which has counted the votes for the awards show since 1973.

Why the handcuffs? Caleb had a theory a couple years ago:

Is that meant to deter potential hijackers who don’t have the stomach to chop off an auditor’s hand? If EY really wants to put the fear of God into would-be case-snatchers, they should hire mercenaries to guard the team with AR-15s.

Hopefully, no one leaves the keys to the handcuffs in their hotel room. Or they might have to pull a Stick from Marvel’s “The Defenders” and chop off their own hands to free themselves. (Probably NSFW.)

Anyhoo, EY takes several precautions to make sure a PwC-like Oscars debacle doesn’t happen.

From the Inquirer:

[Andy Sale, lead partner of Ernst & Young (EY) LLP] and his EY colleagues are a familiar sight on the red carpet as they arrive with briefcases—one or more of which may be empty, all part of a security ruse—handcuffed to their wrists.

To avoid gaffes in the announcement of the winners, Sale said, “We carefully create the winners’ envelopes for each category and coordinate with the show’s producers to ensure that the envelopes are organized according to the show order. We number each envelope to correspond to the award numbering used by the producers, and validate the category name and award number each time we hand an envelope to the celebrity presenter.”

He stressed, “While we have multiple sets of envelopes as a security precaution, we only use one set of envelopes during the show to prevent the inadvertent use of a backup envelope. We also have a written list of the winners in each category that we reference backstage, as each name is announced in order to confirm that it is correct.

“We do not rely solely on our memory of who the winners are. We also have a well-established protocol with the show producers and the stage manager so that they know how we will correct an error if one were to occur.”

Sale also said how the envelopes are delivered to the show is changed up from time to time:

“It is entirely possible that one or more of the briefcases are empty. In fact, we have delivered results to the show in many ways over the years, including one year when the envelopes were delivered in a hotel laundry bag.”

So, were the laundry bags handcuffed to their wrists?

Well, we hope that no gaffes happen Sunday night for EY’s sake. But if there are, we’ll be here on Monday to talk about it.

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