UPDATED Jan 31/2014: The Board of Governors for the Academy Awards have just stripped, “Alone Yet Not Alone,” a faith-based film, of its Oscar nomination for Original Musical Score.
The nomination prompted a huge backlash in the Hollywood community much of it centered around the movie’s faith-based message.
According to the Academy, the song’s music composer Bruce Broughton, a former Academy governor, e-mailed board members to have them consider the song for a nomination.
In an interview, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs said:
“No matter how well-intentioned the communication, using one’s position as a former governor and current executive committee member to personally promote one’s own Oscar submission creates the appearance of an unfair advantage.”
In a statement, the Academy said: “It is the Academy’s goal to ensure that the Awards competition is conducted in a fair and ethical manner.”
Broughton also issued a statement expressing his disappointment saying:
“I indulged in the simplest grass roots campaign and it went against me when the song started getting attention. I got taken down by competition that had months of promotion and advertising behind them. I simply asked people to find the song and consider it.”
Some question the timing of the decision. If Board members received emails prior to nomination to consider the song, why are they suddenly an issue now?
Some allege the backlash against the nomination played a bigger role and the e-mails provided the Academy the excuse it needed to rescind the nomination.
UPDATE: Many in the media shocked
As news rolled out about the Academy’s decision to revoke “Alone Yet Not Alone’s” Oscar nomination many in the media were stunned.
Even those who didn’t agree with the nomination said the decision to rescind the nomination made no sense.
Scott Feinberg who writes for the Hollywood Reporter and initially disagreed with the nomination said:
“Broughton has been very open about the fact that he sent emails during the nominations voting period to some of his 239 fellow members of the Academy’s music branch – yes, the same branch that he represented on the Academy’s board of governors from 2003-2012 – urging them to consider nominating the song … I read one of Broughton’s emails and saw no evidence that he had ‘thrown his weight around’ … he merely offered ‘a request ‘For Your Consideration’…’.”
The Los Angeles Times, who noted this was the first time the Academy revoked a nomination for a full-length feature film, wrote:
“Broughton can’t help that he’s on the branch’s executive committee, and as long as he wasn’t using his status to gin up interest – and, at least in one email in question, no mention is made of his position – then what did he do wrong?”
It may not be long before outlets with a Hollywood-skeptical bent begin making hay of the fact that the academy has never rescinded a nomination due to improper campaigning until a faith-based movie with a quadriplegic pastor came along.”
Even fellow Academy member, Hans Zimmer, called the decision “unfair” on Facebook.
A cut throat business
It is a cut throat business. With an Oscar up for grabs, it is common to see full-page ads and lavish parties being used to promote nominations. An article in The Hollywood Reporter stated that one losing song candidate actually hired a private investigator to look into ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’s’ eligibility.
In the wake of the nominations, a public relations firm representing a song that wasn’t nominated hired a private investigator to look into the song’s eligibility. The firm, which offered details of its findings to THR, refuses to be named.
The investigator emailed the producers of Alone, presenting himself as a researcher doing a piece about the Oscar nominations, to ask if the movie was advertised in the print media during its Oscar-qualifying run.
Under the Academy’s rule 2e, to be eligible for Oscar consideration a movie must be “advertised and exploited during its Los Angeles County qualifying run in print media.”
Though ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’ never advertised the release, movie theaters showing the film did, which according to the Academy met that requirement.
Broughton says he is considering legal action as he feels he may have been defamed through the rejection process.
- Oscar shocker: ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’ best original song nomination revoked: CNN
- Anti-Christian Hollywood strips Christian film of Oscar nomination: VTA
- Controversy erupts as musical score for Christian movie nominated for an Oscar: opentheword.org
- Media stunned by Christian Oscar Swipe: WND
- Was Academy’s Disqualification of Song Contender ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’ Justified: Hollywood Reporter
- ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’: Who’s right in the Oscar song scandal: LA Times
- ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’ Oscar nomination rescinded; songwriter reacts//