Strict new rules were put into place following an unprecedented flub at the Academy Awards in 2017, where La La Land was announced as the Best Picture winner instead of Moonlight. The company behind the envelopes, PwC, have introduced several new safeguards - spearheaded by chairman Tim Ryan - after PwC partner Brian Cullinan accidentally gave Best Picture presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway the wrong card.
As well as adding a third balloting partner, who will be situated in the control room of the Dolby Theatre and will have a complete set of winners' envelopes that will also be committed to memory as a "safety control". The partners who were previously in charge of the envelopes will be replaced by employees Rick Rosas and Kimberly Bourdon.
There will also be a new procedure in which the celebrity presenter and stage manager will confirm that they've been given the correct envelope; last year's mishap was a result of Warren and Faye being given the Best Actress envelope instead of Best Picture. There will also be a run-through on how to react if any mistakes are made. Speaking about the last measure, Ryan told Associated Press: "Because, as you're well aware, it took a long time to respond last year when there was a mistake that we made. So we're formally practicing the what-ifs," adding: "Our singular focus will be on the show and delivering the correct envelopes." They also confirmed that PwC partners are banned from using phones or social media during the show.
Twitter users were quick to comment on the changes, with one writing: "So... no more selfies by the accountants paid hundreds of thousands to do this, then? What an embarrassment," while another added: "Woooow… Imagine the endless, and I mean endless, preparation and rehearsals leading to the big ceremony. Gotta be among the most tightly controlled ever."