What was the accusation?

After 83 years of supporting and supervising the ballot tabulation for the Academy Awards, prominent accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) sustained a severe blow to its corporate reputation when, on February 26, 2017, its Oscar representatives handed the wrong envelope to Best Picture presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. Millions of viewers witnessed the announcement that La La Land had won the 2016 Best Picture Oscar only to then learn (rather awkwardly) that Moonlight was the actual winner. This incident prompted PwC to issue a formal apology for the embarrassing mix-up.

Key Apologia Strategies:

Accident, Corrective Action




We sincerely apologize to ‘Moonlight,’ ‘La La Land,’ Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and Oscar viewers for the error that was made during the award announcement for best picture. The presenters had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope and when discovered, was immediately corrected. We are currently investigating how this could have happened, and deeply regret that this occurred. We appreciate the grace with which the nominees, the Academy, ABC, and Jimmy Kimmel handled the situation.


Hill, L. (2017, February 27). PricewaterhouseCoopers issues statement after Oscars mistake robs ˜Moonlight™ of its moment. Los Angeles Times. Retrieve from

Mayes, J, & Sakoui, A. (2017, February 27). PwC apologizes for Oscar mix-up after giving wrong envelope. Bloomberg. Retrieve from