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Faith-Based Oscar Disqualified Song Creates Controversy

posted by Nell Minow

For the first time ever, the Motion Picture Academy has disqualified a nominee for ethical reasons.  The nomination of “Alone Yet Not Alone” as best song came as a surprise.  Most people had not heard of the song or the movie it came from, a small, faith-based film of the same name.

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The song was disqualified because its composer, Bruce Broughton, sent out an email to his friends in the Academy asking them to consider it for an award. While “for your consideration” lobbying is widespread, what concerned the Academy was that in this case it was coming from a former official of the Academy and was therefore seen as implicitly and improperly endorsed.

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Now, according to the LA Times, there is a backlash, accusing the Academy of applying a different standard to small, independent films than it does to big studio movies.

Broughton has cried foul, saying he was simply trying to draw attention to his independent movie, as many in Hollywood do during awards season.

“They had previews and parties and huge promotion,” Broughton said of the studio campaigns for Oscar-nominated songs from other films, which include box-office hits such as Disney’s “Frozen” and Universal Pictures’ “Despicable Me 2.””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.'”

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After sending out its statement Wednesday, the academy offered no further comment on Thursday. But already the story had gained traction, with “CBS This Morning” bringing Broughton on the air and conservative-leaning outlets such as the Drudge Report and the Washington Times setting up a Hollywood vs. Middle America battle.

“Christian Film Stripped of Oscar Nomination,” a headline blared on Drudge.

Even some in Hollywood thought that Broughton, a music personality, longtime head of the music branch and a USC professor, had been given a raw deal.

 

  • Jeff Peyton

    I understand the Academy sticking to its rulebook, even as its members are out enjoying the promotional swag from the major studios. (Snark implied.) The only good news is that Broughton is one less competitor in the category who was never going to be considered for the 2014 Mandela Award. Honestly, I lost faith in Academy voters after they gave us “Man or a Muppet.”

    • Nell Minow

      Agreed entirely, Jeff! I am mystified by the song selections every year, both the nominees and the winner. I expect “Let it Go” to win this year, and it isn’t even the best song from “Frozen.”

  • http://AloneYetNotAlone John Bolton

    Of course “Alone Yet Not Alone” was disqualified! Why, because is is Christian based and that goes against everything the Hollywood film industry promotes. As a rule the Hollywood film moguls are blatantly anti-Christian and loath everything the Bible promotes. If they can find a way to mock our faith based beliefs, they will go to almost any length to do so. They have done this for decades and will continue to do so, unless we Christians can witness to them and show them Christ’s love!

    • Nell Minow

      Mr. Bolton, you will be interested in this discussion of the issue on Patheos. I agree that it has been poorly handled on all sides but that it is probably more a reflection of the bias against all independent films than of anti-Christian prejudice.

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