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PwC Accountants Behind Oscars Flub Booted From Show and Are Under Protection

The PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants responsible for the show-ending mixup at the Academy Awards are under their employer's protection and will never work the Oscars again, the accounting firm and the motion picture academy told NBC News on Wednesday.

PwC told NBC News that personal information and the pictures of the homes of Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz, the Oscars' envelope guardians, had been posted online. The company said it was providing security to protect Ruiz and Cullinan, who remain with the company and "are not going anywhere," a PwC official said.

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Cullinan was blamed for handing the wrong envelope to Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway as they stepped on stage to present the Oscar for best picture Sunday night.

Brian Cullinan (R) and Martha Ruiz of PricewaterhouseCoopers confer on stage after the Best Picture was mistakenly awarded to "La La Land" instead of "Moonlight."
Lucy Nicholson | Reuters
Brian Cullinan (R) and Martha Ruiz of PricewaterhouseCoopers confer on stage after the Best Picture was mistakenly awarded to "La La Land" instead of "Moonlight."

Because of the screwup, "La La Land" was incorrectly announced as best picture — rather than "Moonlight" — leading to several minutes of shock and confusion inside the Dolby Theatre as hundreds of millions of people watched around the world.

Meanwhile, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences told NBC News on Wednesday that Cullinan and Ruiz would never work the Oscars again.

The academy said it would issue no formal statement.

The best picture flub wasn't the only mistake during the ceremony Sunday night. A picture of Australian movie producer Jan Chapman was used in an In Memoriam segment paying tribute to costume designer Janet Patterson, who died in October.

In a post on Instagram, the academy said Patterson "was beloved in our community."

"We extend our deepest apologies and condolences to the Patterson family," said the academy, which posted a corrected version of the In Memoriam video package online.