Oscar blunder duo given bodyguards after 'death threats'

Image source, AFP
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The two accountants have been accused of presiding over the biggest mistake in 89 years of Academy Awards history

The two accountants who muddled up the main award envelopes at Sunday's Oscars ceremony have been given bodyguards following reports they have received death threats on social media.

Accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said security has been beefed up at the residences of Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz following the mistake.

Celebrity website TMZ.com said the pair were in fear of their lives.

On Wednesday it emerged they will not be employed to do the Oscars job again. But TMZ.com reported that they will not lose their accountancy jobs.

PwC spokeswoman Carey Bodenheimer said Cullinan and Ruiz had been given protection after their home addresses and photos of their families were published in the media.

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
It has been reported that the pair will not lose their jobs

On Sunday, the team behind La La Land had to be interrupted mid-acceptance speech before the real winner was revealed, in what has been described as the biggest mistake in 89 years of the Academy Awards.

Media caption,
Oscars insider: 'Accountants need to pay attention'

At the end of the awards show, being broadcast live to millions, Mr Cullinan mistakenly handed the wrong envelope to the two presenters, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway.

They were given the back-up envelope for best actress in a leading role - rather than the envelope which contained the name of the winner for the best film.

PwC, which counts the votes and organises the envelopes, has apologised for the mix-up.

Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy, has since emailed members, saying the error was due to "the failure of PwC's accountants to follow established protocols and their delay in immediately remedying the situation".

She added: "Rest assured, changes will be implemented to ensure this never happens again."

Mr Cullinan tweeted a picture of best actress winner Emma Stone minutes before handing the presenters the wrong envelope, and Ms Boone Isaacs blamed "distraction" for the error.

Media caption,
The moment La La Land's producers realised Moonlight had won best picture

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