Friday 3 March 2017

Oscars Balloting Co-leader Martha Ruiz Is Being Watched By Security

Martha Ruiz

Oscars balloting co-leader Martha Ruiz and her co-worker Brian Cullinan were embroiled in one of the biggest gaffes of The Academy Awards' history this weekeend.

The Oscars Best Picture blunder saw La La Land wrongly announced as the winner instead of Moonlight.

And now a security vehicle has been spotted outside the Los Angeles home of Martha.

The driver of the black car is said to have identified himself to neighbours as a security guard and spent more than eight hours stationed outside the property.

Earlier today, Oscars bosses issued a new apology over the shocking blunder that saw the wrong film named Best Picture on Sunday night.

In a statement of regret, The Academy has recognised the gaffe “profoundly altered” the Oscars experience for the cast and crew of both movies involved.

They also confirmed PricewaterhouseCoopers, the firm that counts the Oscars votes and delivers the results, has taken “full responsibility” for the incident.

Martha Ruiz

There was chaos at the 89th Academy Awards when presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were handed the wrong envelope, leading them to declare La La Land had won Best Picture when it should have been Moonlight.

La La Land’s crew had already started their acceptance speech when the mistake was realised, meaning they had to hand over their Oscars to Moonlight on stage.

In a fresh statement about the mortifying error, the organisers said: “We deeply regret the mistakes that were made during the presentation of the Best Picture category during last night’s Oscar ceremony.

“We apologise to the entire cast and crew of La La Land and Moonlight, whose experience was profoundly altered by this error. We salute the tremendous grace they displayed under the circumstances.

“To all involved — including our presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, the filmmakers, and our fans watching worldwide — we apologise.”

The statement continued to confirm PwC has taken "full responsibility" for the shocking mistake, which happened when Beatty and Dunaway were wrongly handed the envelope announcing Emma Stone's earlier win as Best Actress for La La Land, rather than the Best Picture envelope.

"For the last 83 years, the Academy has entrusted PwC to handle the critical tabulation process, including the accurate delivery of results," said the Academy.

"PwC has taken full responsibility for the breaches of established protocols that took place during the ceremony. We have spent last night and today investigating the circumstances, and will determine what actions are appropriate going forward.

"We are unwaveringly committed to upholding the integrity of the Oscars and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences."

Martha Ruiz

PwC issued its own statement earlier in the day, apologising to everyone affected by the mix up.

"We sincerely apologise 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. We appreciate the grace with which the nominees, the Academy, ABC, and Jimmy Kimmel handled the situation.”

PwC nominates two employees each year to oversee the secretive Oscar voting process; they are responsible for managing the counting of votes, verifying the result, and keeping that result secret.

This year the job went to PwC's Bill Cullinan and Martha Ruiz, who were the only two people in the world to know who had won which Oscar before they were announced.

In a statement to Variety, Tim Ryan, the accounting firm’s US chairman and senior partner, said: "Bill feels very, very terrible and horrible. He is very upset about this mistake. And as a firm, given that he is a partner of our firm, it is also my mistake and our mistake and we all feel very bad.”

The mistake occurred because both Cullinan and Ruiz carry identical stacks of envelopes announcing each winner, meaning two envelopes exist for every category.



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