Academy cites integrity in pulling Oscar song nod
Los Angeles • The decision to rescind the Academy Awards original song nomination for "Alone Yet Not Alone" from the small faith-based film of the same title is due to integrity, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said in a statement Saturday.
The academy revoked the song's Oscar nod Wednesday after it discovered composer Bruce Broughton, a music branch executive committee member, emailed 70 members of the group to alert them of his submission.
"The Academy takes very seriously anything that undermines the integrity of the Oscars voting process," motion picture academy said in the statement. "The Board regretfully concluded that Mr. Broughton's actions did precisely that."
The academy said Broughton created the appearance of an unfair advantage. During the nomination voting period, 240 members receive a DVD of film scenes along with the eligible songs. This year, 75 songs were eligible. The nominating process is meant to be anonymous, but Broughton identified to fellow music branch members the song he composed.
"When he identified the song as track (hash)57 as one he had composed, and asked voting branch members to listen to it, he took advantage of information that few other potential nominees are privy to," the academy said. "Mr. Broughton should have been more cautious about acting in a way that made it appear as if he were taking advantage of his position to exert undue influence. At a minimum, his actions called into question whether the process was 'fair and equitable,' as the Academy's rules require."
In the 86-year history of the awards, this is only the fourth time an Oscar nomination has been rescinded.
The film "Alone Yet Not Alone" follows two sisters who are captured by Allegheny Indians during the French and Indian war in 1755. It was released in only 11 theaters, though a wider release is scheduled for June.
Broughton told the Los Angeles Times earlier this week that he was trying to get the independent film attention.
Movies like Disney's "Frozen" and Universal Pictures' "Despicable Me 2" "had previews and parties and huge promotion," he said. "We had no budget. There's no Oscar campaign. All there is is this really stupid email that went out to about 70 people saying, 'Please look at my song.' I'm getting something taken away from me when these other studios have been skirting on the edges of proper behavior for months, backed by huge troughs of money. I don't like my reputation being taken down like this."
The original song category will have only four honorees this year. No other project will fill the slot originally held by "Alone Yet Not Alone."
Oscar voting begins on Feb. 14, with the winners announced March 2.