Oscars Mistake Casts Unwanted Spotlight on PwC
As the Oscar for best picture was being presented at the 89th Academy Awards on Sunday night, Tim Ryan, the U.S. chairman of PwC, was sitting in a plush seat in the Dolby Theater, watching with satisfaction.
周六晚，当第89届奥斯卡奖颁奖典礼正在宣布最佳影片奖得主时，普华永道(PwC)的美国董事长蒂姆·瑞安(Tim Ryan)正坐在杜比剧院(Dolby Theater)的一个豪华座位上，满意地观看着。
PwC, a London-based accounting firm, has tabulated the votes for the Academy Awards for 83 years. And the Oscars, while not its most lucrative client, is perhaps its most important. The firm leans on its long history as Hollywood’s chief vote-counter to enhance its appeal in efforts like business development and recruiting.
So when “La La Land” was named the best-picture winner and the producers began delivering their acceptances speeches, it appeared Ryan’s work for the night was done.
所以当《爱乐之城》(La La Land)被宣布获得了最佳影片奖、其制片人开始发表他们的获奖感言时，瑞安当晚的工作似乎就要结束了。
Then chaos erupted on the stage. A PwC partner had handed Warren Beatty, a presenter of the award, the wrong envelope. Faye Dunaway, presenting the award with Beatty, erroneously announced that “La La Land” had won. Moments later, after the two PwC partners who oversee the voting came onstage, the “La La Land” producers announced that “Moonlight” was in fact the winner.
但随后，舞台上爆发了混乱。普华永道的一名合伙人交给了颁奖者沃伦·比蒂(Warren Beatty)一个错误的信封。与比蒂一起颁奖的费·唐娜薇(Faye Dunaway)错误地宣布了得奖的是《爱乐之城》。片刻之后，监督投票的两名普华永道合伙人走到台上，《爱乐之城》的制片人转而宣布，《月光男孩》(Moonlight)其实才是获奖影片。
Ryan watched in horror as the bizarre scene played out before Hollywood’s biggest stars and tens of millions of people watching around the globe. In a dizzying turn of events, his firm, which normally occupies a back seat at the glamorous event, was suddenly at the center of one of the most sensational stories in Oscars history.
“I knew something was up,” he said in an interview Monday, zeroing in on the discordant moment when he noticed two of his employees interrupting the best picture acceptance speeches. “It’s not their job to come out on stage.”
As the magnitude of the gaffe set in, Ryan went into crisis-management mode.
“What was going though my head at the time was, ‘We have to get to the bottom of this, and if we made a mistake, we’ll own up to it,'” Ryan said. “My philosophy in life is, bad news doesn’t age well.”
Reaction to the mistake has been swift and harsh.
“You had one job!” several people remarked on Twitter, tagging the company’s username and the two partners who oversaw the ballots, who were the public faces of PwC’s efforts before and during the show. Some criticized PwC, formerly known as PricewaterhouseCoopers, on an unofficial Facebook page for the business, with one person remarking its acronym could stand for “probably wrong card.”
“你的工作只有一个！”几个人在Twitter上写道，还在标签里带上了普华永道的用户名和监督选票的两个合伙人，他们两人是颁奖典礼前和典礼期间普华永道的招牌。一些人在普华永道会计师事务所的一个非正式的Facebook页面上批评公司，其中一个人写道，公司名PwC可以是“probably wrong card（可能是错误的卡片）”的缩写。
Just as quickly as the fortunes of “La La Land” and “Moonlight” changed, PwC, one of the so-called Big Four accounting firms, had a major brand crisis on its hands.
“Not since Janet Jackson and her wardrobe malfunction on the Super Bowl have we seen something quite as glaring as this snafu,” said Andrew D. Gilman, the chief executive of the crisis communications firm CommCore Consulting Group, referring to the 2004 episode. Although most of PwC’s clients are aware that mistakes can happen, “the name of the firm has unfortunately been a little sullied,” he added.
“自从珍妮特·杰克逊(Janet Jackson)和她在美国橄榄球超级杯大赛上发生服装故障以来，我们还没有看到过如此令人眼花缭乱的事件发生，”危机沟通公司CommCore Consulting Group的首席执行官安德鲁·D·吉尔曼(Andrew D. Gilman)说，他提到的是2004年发生的事情。虽然普华永道的大多数客户都知道出错是难免的，但“公司的名声不幸受到了一点儿沾污，”他补充说。
PwC was quick to accept responsibility for the mistake.
According to Ryan and others briefed on the process, a PwC partner, Brian Cullinan, handed Beatty the wrong envelope.
Instead of the envelope containing the winner for best picture, Cullinan accidentally handed Beatty a duplicate of the envelope for best actress — an award Emma Stone had accepted for her role in “La La Land” just moments before.
For the Oscars, PwC uses two complete sets of the envelopes, with one placed on each side of the stage. Cullinan was handling one side, and the other partner overseeing the voting process, Martha L. Ruiz, was handling the other. It isn’t clear what led Cullinan to hand Beatty the wrong envelope.
普华永道为奥斯卡颁奖礼准备了两套完整的信封，舞台两边各放一套。卡利南负责一边的信封，另一个负责监督投票过程的合伙人玛莎·L·鲁伊斯(Martha L. Ruiz)负责另一边。究竟是什么原因导致卡利南把错误信封交给了比蒂，现在还不清楚。
Cullinan posted on Twitter a photograph of Stone backstage shortly after she won the award for best actress, and minutes before the mix-up, according to The Wall Street Journal. The post, which has been deleted, said “Best Actress Emma Stone backstage! #PWC.”
The design of the envelopes could have been a factor. The envelopes were redesigned this year to feature red paper with gold lettering that specified the award enclosed, rather than gold paper with dark lettering. That could have made the lettering harder to read. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, not PwC, is responsible for the design and procurement of the envelopes.
Whatever the reason, PwC was left searching for answers. As celebrities and guests hit the town for celebrations, Ryan spent the hours after the awards show speaking with Cullinan, Ruiz, members of the Academy and the show’s producers.
“I spent the bulk of the night with Brian trying to understand what happened,” Ryan said. “There wasn’t much in terms of parties last night.”
Ryan and others at PwC were scrambling to contain the damage all night. The firm put released a statement early Monday apologizing and taking responsibility for the mistake. Later in the day, Ryan wrote an email to PwC employees.
It is too early to tell how the error will affect the PwC brand.
A privately held partnership, PwC provides accounting, tax advisory and consulting services to most of the world’s largest corporations. It reported sales of $36 billion during its last fiscal year, up 7 percent from the previous year. The entertainment and media sector accounted for just 4.2 percent of sales.
But how clients think of PwC may change.
Gilman, the crisis communications specialist, said he was curious to see if PwC kept the Oscars contract. “They have branded themselves around this event saying, ‘We’re trusted’ — that’s the implication. Now I think that will take a hit.”