Academy won't strip 'To Leslie' of Oscar nomination

A debate has developed in Hollywood...

Feb 3, 2023 - 13:34
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Academy won't strip 'To Leslie' of Oscar nomination

In Hollywood, a controversy has erupted about whether the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' rules against lobbying or criticizing competitors were broken.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has ruled that actress Andrea Riseborough will keep her contentious Oscar nomination for To Leslie, despite an examination of the indie film's unorthodox promotional campaign raising concerns.

The British actress' recent nomination for best actress by Hollywood's most prestigious awards organization sent shockwaves through the film industry.

While critics complimented her performance, the picture only grossed $27,000 at the box office and lacked the costly and highly visible marketing strategy that is considered essential for Oscar consideration.

Instead of a pricey promotion, the film about a Texas mother who wins the lottery but wastes her riches and falls into alcoholism relies on an intense last-minute social media campaign with high-profile celebrities such as Edward Norton, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Sarah Paulson.

In Hollywood, a controversy has erupted over whether the Academy's rules against lobbying or denigrating competitors were broken.

"The Academy has determined that this activity is not of such a level that the film's nomination should be revoked," the group that awards the Oscars announced. “However, we have uncovered campaign tactics that have raised concerns. Those tactics are being discussed directly with the responsible parties.”

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awards the Oscars based on the votes of its 9,500 members. Each branch of the Academy determines nominations, and Oscar nominations for actors, including Riseborough, were voted on by around 1,300 members of the relevant branch.

These members are said to have received emails and social media posts urging them to vote for Riseborough and to encourage others to do the same.

"The purpose of the campaign rules is to ensure a fair and ethical awarding process - these are the fundamental values ​​of the Academy," the Academy's statement reads.

According to the report, "components of the legislation must be clarified in order to create a stronger framework for courteous, inclusive, and impartial campaigning." Any modifications will take effect until after this year's Oscars, which will be held on March 12.

"The Academy strives to create an environment where votes are based solely on the artistic and technical merits of acceptable films and productions," the press release concludes.

Post by Bryan C.