Jay Rosen and I dedicate the entire episode to the FUBAR surrounding the Oscar ceremony where the Best Picture award was given to the wrong picture. We consider the control failures around the incident, look at it from a compliance program perspective, consider the failures in light of the new Justice Department Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs and conclude with the lessons to be learned for the compliance practitioner from the entire fiasco.

For some additional reading see, Jay’s piece on Linkedin, “David vs. Goliath; Ethics & Compliance Lessons to be Learned from the Oscars” and Matt Kelly look at the control failures and other issues in his blog post on Radical Compliance, “And the Oscar for Control Failures Goes to…”


Jay Rosen new contact information:

Jay Rosen, CCEP

Vice President, Business Development

Monitoring Specialist

Affiliated Monitors, Inc.

Mobile (310) 729-6746

Toll Free (866)-201-0903



I don't think you can include Beatty and Dunaway in the RCA.  Cullinan's only job was to get the envelopes right, which he failed to do by not only being "distracted" - he was tweeting and taking selfies - Cullian's role amounts to willful negligence.  It's too easy to say now that the presenters should have questioned the envelope and card. Why should they?  This wasn't a forseeable part of what happened - it never happened before, and if anything, both Dunaway and Beatty may have assumed that the Best Actress print on the card was the only mistake, and that La La Land was the winner... which is a logical assumption because LLL was the runaway favorite.  It's not reasonable to expect the presenters to make a mental leap under the most intense pressure and conclude that the upset happened.