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Academy to continue working with PwC after Oscars gaffe

New protocols include ban on electronic devices backstage on Oscar night.

It emerged on Wednesday the organisation will not sever its ties with the accountancy firm behind last month’s momentous Oscar night gaffe.

Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs notified members of the development following the board’s first meeting after what she called the “most extraordinary and memorable Oscars ceremony in decades”.

Heading into its 84th year working with PwC, the board reviewed its relationship with PwC covering Oscars voting, auditing, and taxes and decided to maintain ties.

However the Academy will put into place several new protocols after PwC partner Brian Cullinan mistakenly handed best picture co-presenter Warren Beatty the wrong envelope at the climax of the show.

PwC US chairman and senior partner Tim Ryan will assume greater oversight; now that Cullinan and Martha Ruiz will no longer be working the show, PwC partner Rick Rosas will return as co-balloting leader and more key balloting partners will be announced in the coming months.

Furthermore, the PwC on-site team at the Oscars will include a third balloting officer who will know the winners in advance and will sit in the control room with the show’s director throughout the ceremony.

Partners will rehearse and prepare for possible onstage issues, the process of verifying envelopes onstage will be improved, backstage protocols will continue to be reviewed, and no electronic devices will be permitted backstage.

In other news, Isaacs told members the first phase of construction of the Academy Museum Of Motion Pictures is complete and the building remains on track to open in 2019.

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