PricewaterhouseCoopers, the firm which has counted the Academy Awards ballots since 1934, issued an apology early Monday morning for causing what will go down as the biggest flub in the history of the awards show.
The firm admitted that an internal error caused the Best Picture award to be presented to "La La Land" instead of "Moonlight" during Sunday night's show.
"At the end of the day we made a human error," Tim Ryan, the U.S. chairman and senior partner of PwC, told USA Today.
Ryan explained that PwC partner Brian Cullinan accidentally handed the wrong envelope to Waren Beatty. As soon as the firm realized its mistake the appropriate parties were notified, but at that point "La La Land" producers had already begun giving speeches.
"It was a little chaotic and just took time to get out onstage and let people know that the mistake was made," Ryan told USA Today. "And unfortunately that took enough time to get through two and a half acceptance speeches."
Although the flub was quickly corrected, James O'Rourke, a professor of management at Notre Dame told CNN the mistake will likely damage PwC's reputation.
O'Rourke said he expects PwC to lose its prestigious Oscars gig because of the mixup.
Sunday night's Oscar ratings were just above the record-low viewership of 32 million in 2008.
Only 32.9 million viewers tuned in nationwide for the nearly four-hour ceremony, which aired on ABC.
The high point for the Oscars was 1998 when 55 million tuned in to watch "Titanic" win best picture.
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