The bean counter who handed Oscars presenterWarren Beatty the wrong winners envelope Sunday night was busy tweeting snapshots of actors backstage just before he set in motion the biggest blunder in the award show’s history.
Brian Cullinan, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, which handles the Oscars voting, giddily posted a photo of “La La Land’’ starEmma Stone just three minutes before giving Beatty what was supposed to be the envelope containing the name of the Best Picture.
“Best Actress Emma Stone Backstage!” Cullinan tweeted at 9:05 p.m. PST, according to The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper obtained a copy of the post before it was yanked, allegedly along with the slew of other tweets the on-duty accountant sent out during the show.
Cullinan, 57, an LA-based, Cornell-educated accounting executive, was one of two PWC honchos overseeing the winners’ envelopes at the time. He was standing stage-right during the event, holding a briefcase that contained the 24 envelopes with the winners’ names inside. His PWC partner, Martha Ruiz, was stage left holding another briefcase with an identical set of envelopes.
The pair took turns handing out an envelope to each presenter as they alternated taking the stage from either side. They were supposed to dispose of the envelopes they didn’t hand out.
Stone had just received her award for Best Actress in a Leading Role from presenter Leonardo DiCaprio, who was handed his envelope by Ruiz.
For the final award, Beatty entered from stage right, Cullinan’s side. But instead of giving Beatty that envelope, Cullinan handed him the one for Best Actress.
Beatty, 79, had already been fighting with co-presenter Faye Dunaway, 76, during rehearsals over who would announce the winner, according to a report. The 1967 “Bonnie and Clyde” co-stars were so mad at each other that they refused to even walk out on the stage together, TMZ reported.