Citing direct campaigning that created "the appearance of an unfair advantage," the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has revoked an Oscar nomination for "Alone Yet Not Alone," the tune from the faith-based movie of the same name that had been nominated for original song.
The academy said that Bruce Broughton, a music branch executive committee member who wrote the song's music, had emailed members of the branch during the voting period, a rule violation. No new nominee will be named; only four nominees will be eligible for the Oscar.
In a release Wednesday, the academy said the board of governors had made the decision in a vote Tuesday night after concluding that Broughton "had emailed members of the branch to make them aware of his submission during the nominations voting period."
In the statement, academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs said the actions were a perception problem, though she stopped short of saying that it actually had led to the song being shortlisted. "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," she said.
When it was announced as one of the nominees two weeks ago, "Alone Yet Not Alone" raised eyebrows among pundits and carping among non-nominated rivals. The song, whose lyrics were written by Dennis Spiegel, came from an independent movie about 18th-century colonists that few had heard of. It has received just a niche release in no more than 11 theaters and taken in only about $100,000. A larger release is planned in June.
The academy has revoked nominees' tickets before due to campaigning-based rule violations, as it did in 2010 for "Hurt Locker" producer Nicholas Chartier after he sent an email asking voters to choose his film over "that $500 million movie," referring to fellow nominee "Avatar." But the revocation of a nomination is extremely rare, if not unprecedented. More shortly.