The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards the Academy Awards every year, on Tuesday revoked the nomination of “Alone Yet Not Alone” for the Best Original Song Oscar, citing a violation of the Academy’s rule by the song's music director, Bruce Broughton.
The decision was taken by the academy's Board of Governors after Broughton, who is also a former governor and current Music Branch executive committee member, emailed other members to draw their attention to 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,” Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the academy's president, said in a press release on Wednesday.
“Alone Yet Not Alone,” a song from a movie of the same name, didn’t receive a big response from the audience initially, but the Oscar nomination had drawn strong reactions for the song.
According to reports, in a recent interview with Studio System News, Broughton said that the movie's release had been very limited due to which there was a high chance that the movie would be overlooked, given the high-profile competition.
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He added: “So, I wrote a letter to people I personally knew and thought were a member of the branch to ask them to look for the song, to be aware that there’s a song there. I didn’t ask for anyone to vote for it, I just didn’t want the song to be bypassed.”
The board, in its statement, said that Broughton’s actions had violated the academy’s promotional regulations, stating 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 reportedly told Variety that he was devastated, adding that: “I indulged in the simplest, lamest, grassroots campaign and it went against me when the song started getting attention. I got taken down by competition that had months of promotion and advertising behind them.”
The Academy will not name an additional nominee for the Original Song category. The nomination list currently includes “Happy” from “Despicable Me 2,” “Let It Go” from “Frozen,” “The Moon Song” from “Her” and “Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom.”