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Film academy president reassures members after Oscar botch

Associated Press

The president of the film academy has sent an email to its members telling them they have much to be proud of after this year's Oscars ceremony, and reassuring them changes will be made to avoid a repeat of problems like the botched best-picture announcement that closed the show.

An Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences spokesman confirmed the contents of the email for The Associated Press on Thursday night.

In it, academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs calls Sunday's show "one of the best — and certainly most dramatic and talked about — Oscar ceremonies of all time" giving a subtle nod to the mistaken naming of "La La Land" as best picture before the correct winner "Moonlight" was eventually revealed.

Isaacs goes on to give a set of bullet-pointed items she says the academy — a group of about 6,000 people from the film industry who vote for the Oscars — should be proud of.

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They include the "impeccable and effortless hosting job by Jimmy Kimmel," the "electric opening number" from Justin Timberlake" and the tribute to Katherine Johnson, one of the real-life women who inspired "Hidden Figures."

She then addresses the best-picture flub and PwC, the accounting firm that has taken responsibility for it.

"By now, thanks to the non-stop coverage the past few days, we all know that the wrong envelope and the problems that ensued were caused by the failure of PwC's accountants to follow established protocols and their delay in immediately remedying the situation," Isaacs said. "Rest assured changes will be implemented to ensure this never happens again."

Isaacs' comments echo much of what she told the AP in an exclusive interview on Wednesday. She was more forceful in her discussion of the big mistake, however, saying the two accountants responsible will never work for the Oscars again.

In her email, Isaacs said the academy is most proud of the way everyone involved in the best-picture mess handled themselves, from presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty to the filmmakers of the two movies.

"The grace and humility they demonstrated onstage, with the world watching, show the strength of the bond that connects all the artists in our community," she said.

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