Some major drama went down yesterday at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, where they announced a fairly shocking development regarding this year’s Oscar nominations. After some discussion and a vote from their Board of Governors, they chose to rescind a nomination in the Original Song category, marking only the fifth time in history that a nomination has been revoked. The movie in question, a little known faith-based historical drama called Alone, Yet Not Alone, was nominated for the theme song written by Bruce Broughton and Dennis Spiegel. Unfortunately, it came to light that Broughton had personally solicited votes using his status as a former Governor and current Music Branch executive committee member to help get nominated. No additional nominees will be named in the category to replace it. Here is an excerpt from the official press release:
On Tuesday night, the Academy’s Board of Governors voted to rescind the Original Song nomination for “Alone Yet Not Alone,” music by Bruce Broughton and lyric by Dennis Spiegel. The decision was prompted by the discovery that Broughton, a former Governor and current Music Branch executive committee member, had emailed members of the branch to make them aware of his submission during the nominations voting period.
“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,” said Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Academy President.
The Board determined that Broughton’s actions were inconsistent with the Academy’s promotional regulations, which provide, among other terms, that “it is the Academy’s goal to ensure that the Awards competition is conducted in a fair and ethical manner. If any campaign activity is determined by the Board of Governors to work in opposition to that goal, whether or not anticipated by these regulations, the Board of Governors may take any corrective actions or assess any penalties that in its discretion it deems necessary to protect the reputation and integrity of the awards process.”
Broughton has since responded to the announcement, stating that “the campaigning on the other songs is epic compared to my simple email note. The marketing abilities of the other companies before and after the nomination far outstrip anything that this song was able to benefit from.” It’s certainly a valid point, and let’s face it, there was no chance in hell they were going to win the Oscar anyway. If you’re interested in some of the other Oscar nominations that have been revoked in previous years, check out this piece over at EW. What do you think, did the Academy do the right thing here or are they unfairly punishing a movie that had little pull in the first place?