How the Golden Globes Avoided Repeating Oscars' Epic Best Picture Flub

Following the 'La La Land'/'Moonlight' mix-up at last year's Academy Awards, "there was more interest in making sure procedures were as tight as they could be" at this year's Globes.
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Mieke Velghe and Andy Sale, handcuffed to the envelopes.

All too mindful of rival accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers' role in the best picture mix-up at the 2017 Oscars, Ernst & Young partners Mieke Velghe and Andy Sale walked the red carpet together at the Jan. 7 Golden Globes, both wearing handcuffs and ready to prevent any mistakes. 

"We want to make sure that when we get to the stage, we have the right envelopes for the right winners," Velghe said. "We have policies and procedures in place to make sure that is the case."

Added Sale: "Our firm has been doing this work with HFPA for 45 years. They entrust us to make sure we do things the right way, and to keep things quiet. There were a lot of discussions around it. … We were always focused on making sure we have the right procedures in place and we challenge them every year. There was more interest in making sure procedures were as tight as they could be."

Speaking of tight, both partners wore handcuffs which stayed on until they got backstage. After the red carpet, they were joined by production team stage staff along with NBC standards and practices executives to make sure the left and right envelopes were sorted properly. "The envelopes will stay in our hands until we hand them to the presenter," he said. Then it's showtime, but not before removing their accessories.

But what about the keys? "I have his and he has mine," Velghe admitted. 

A version of this story first appeared in the Jan. 17 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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