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.
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.
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.’”
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.