The Hollywood Reporter has obtained a letter written by acclaimed Hollywood producer Gerald Moen criticizing the Academy Award’s decision to revoke the Oscar nomination for best original song for ‘Alone Yet Not Alone.’
The song was written for the faith-based movie that goes by the same name. It is based on the true story of the Leininger family in 1700’s Pennsylvania. A Christian family, their faith was tested when Delaware warriors captured their two daughters, Regina and Barbara, in 1755 during the French Indian war.
The Academy Awards withdrew its nomination two weeks later after a backlash from many in the Hollywood community, much of it due to the film’s faith message.
The Academy said the song’s musical composer Bruce Broughten — a former Academy Governor — had sent e-mails to those judging the awards asking them to consider the song. Broughten had received a previous Oscar nomination for a musical score he wrote for Silverado. He also won nine Emmy Awards for music he wrote for TV.
Moen, 79, won an oscar as co-producer for the movie Schindler’s List. He also produced such block busters as Jurassic Park and Minority Report.
In his letter to Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, Moen wrote:
“Every film, director, writer, cinematographer, actor, art director, costume designer and efx house finds a way to pitch or promote their work. Many will see this decision as faith-based bigotry pure and simple.
Critics will pounce and accuse us of being out of touch and needlessly offending middle America by stripping this song — a song sung by a quadriplegic hero to evangelical Christians who has captured the imagination of the American people — of its nomination.
In my humble opinion, it seems to me that this has turned a Cinderella story that America loves into a story of the wicked stepmother who wants to keep her daughter from the ball, with we the Academy cast as the villain.”
He finished his letter by stating that if the Academy judged all films by the same standard, there would be a massive recall of Oscars, as many winners “lobbied friends and colleagues.”
In his email, Broughton simply asked the judges to consider song #57 on the Academy’s sample cd. He stated:
“I’m sending this note only because it is extremely unlikely that this small, independent faith-based film will be seen by any music branch member; it’s the only way I can think of to have anyone be aware of the song.”
The song is sung by 64-year-old Joni Eareckson Tada a Christian teacher and writer. Joni is a quadriplegic due to a diving accident when she was 17. Because of the associated damage to her lungs, her husband had to push on her diaphragm to give her enough wind to hit the song’s high notes. She now operates a ministry called Joni and Friends helping children internationally affected by disabilities.
Others agree with Moen
Moen is not alone in his disgust with the Academy’s change of mind. Scott Feinberg of Hollywood Reporter made similar statements saying:
“Just about every individual and studio with any hope of an Oscar nomination or win — including those with far deeper pockets than ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’s backers — campaign for it, usually far more aggressively than did Broughton.”
The Los Angeles Times wrote:
“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.”
Many believe the Academy buckled to the anti-Christian sentiment that immediately expressed itself after the announcement the song was up for an Oscar. To its credit, the Academy was initially willing to nominate the song despite its message.
‘Alone Yet Not Alone’ gets top billing at Movieguide®
After the Academy announced its decision to revoke the Oscar nomination for ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’, MovieGuide® announced that Joni Earckson Tada will be singing the song at their awards to be held February 7th at Los Angeles’ Universal Hilton Hotel.
A nonprofit ministry, Movieguide’s® purpose is to redeem “the values of the entertainment industry by influencing industry executives and by performing and equipping the public about the influence of the entertainment media.”
Listen to ‘Alone Yet Not Alone”
The song posted on Youtube has had over three-quarter of a million views. You can listen to it below:
- Oscar Winner Pens Letter Accusing Academy of Christian ‘Bigotry’ in Song Flap (Exclusive): Hollywood Reporter
- Rejected along song now getting top billing: WND
- Controversy erupts as musical score for Christian movie nominated for an Oscar: opentheword.org
- Academy strips ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’ of its Oscar nomination: opentheword.org