Adding more drama to an already heated Oscar race, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences earlier this week revoked one of its Oscar nominations. And that happens about as often as Woody Allen attends the Oscars – practically never.
The Academy’s board of governors decided to disqualify “Alone Yet Not Alone,” a little-known tune from a little-known Christian film of the same name, from the best original song category.
Apparently, the song’s composer, Bruce Broughton (who is a former Academy governor and executive committee member in its music branch), sent e-mails to Oscar voters to campaign for his song before nominations were announced. And that’s a big no-no.
“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,” Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Academy president, said in a statement.
Broughton said in an opposing statement that he was “devastated” at the Academy’s decision.
“I indulged in the simplest grass-roots campaign, and it went against me when the song started getting attention,” Broughton told the Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
The nomination will not be replaced. The remaining nominees are “Happy” from “Despicable Me 2,” “Let It Go” from “Frozen,” “The Moon Song” from “Her” and “Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.”
At least it’s one less song we have to sit through during the awards.
But in its 86-year history, the Academy has revoked a nomination only a handful of other times, as reported by Entertainment Weekly and the Hollywood Reporter:
• Short subject, comedy, 1931-32: “Stout Hearts and Willing Hands” — Nomination was replaced with the next runner-up. There is no documentation on why the nomination was revoked.
• Documentary feature, 1968: “Young Americans” — Not only the nomination but the Oscar itself was revoked after it was discovered that the film was shown theatrically in October 1967, making it ineligible for a 1968 award. The next runner-up, “Journey Into Self,” was given the Oscar.
• Original score, 1972: “The Godfather” — Revoked after it was learned composer Nino Rota used some of the same music in the 1958 film “Fortunella.” Apparently, says EW, the Academy doesn’t consider this nomination technically revoked. The discovery spawned a revote among the music branch, and Rota just didn’t make the top five in that second voting (go figure).
Interestingly, Rota did win the original score Oscar two years later for “The Godfather Part II.”
• Best foreign film, 1992: “A Place in the World” (Uruguay) — Apparently the film wasn’t Uruguayan enough – it was discovered that the film was wholly produced in Argentina and had “insufficient Uruguayan artistic control.” That’s like saying “Gravity” isn’t an American film because it takes place in space and was shot by a Mexican director.
• Short subject, live action, 2011: “Tuba Atlantic” — After the awards ceremony on Feb. 26, 2012, the Academy learned that the film had already been shown on Norwegian television in 2010, making it ineligible. The Academy’s board of governors rescinded “Tuba’s” nomination – after it had already lost to another film. Way to pour lemon juice on that wound, Academy.