The end of last year’s Academy Awards ceremony was the most exciting in recent memory, which is to say that it was pretty much the only time the Oscars were ever really exciting. And it was all because of a tremendous fuck-up in which Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway read the wrong card and announced the Best Picture winner as La La Land instead of Moonlight. That was the kind of dramatic twist that can never really be repeated—for a number of reasons—so the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the envelope masters at PricewaterhouseCoopers have formally enacted some new rules to hopefully guarantee that La La Land never accidentally wins another award.
According to an ABC News report, the new rules are all related to “envelope rituals,” and PwC’s U.S. chairman Tim Ryan will now be “personally involved” in the whole process. Specifically, the new rules include a third PwC representative being stationed in the show’s control room in addition to the ones on either side of the stage, and they will be tasked with memorizing all of the winners beforehand so they’ll immediately know if something is wrong. Additionally, the backstage PwC representatives will participate in show rehearsals so they can practice responding to La La Land-style mistakes, they will be required to give up their cellphones during the show, and they will also directly confirm with the celebrity presenters that they’ve handed over the correct envelope.
This is all along the same lines as what PwC discussed in March, when the company confirmed that the representatives who worked last year’s ceremony—Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz—had been reassigned to different positions. Cullinan has been identified as the one most responsible for the fuck-up (and the new cellphone rule), since he was caught taking selfies with famous people all night instead of, you know, making sure he gave Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty the right envelope.
The Academy Award nominations were just announced this morning, and the ceremony will be held on March 4.