Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Nominated, Yet Not Nomianted

Holy cow Batman: God has been disqualified from the Oscars!

Alright, sorry for the outdated Batman pun, but can any of you honestly blame me for that?  Who would have thought such an unknown Christian film would be the most controversial Oscar nomination of the year?  First the song “Alone Yet Not Alone” (from the film of the same name) was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Song category, beating out songs from other artists such as Taylor Swift and Coldplay.  Then, because of accusations that the song was favored because the songs writer, Bruce Brouton, was a former governor and current music branch executive committee member, the songs most unique nomination has been pulled by the Academy.  Why?  Because Brouton e-mailed some 200 plus voting members and let them know that this song existed and to ask them to at least listen to it and consider nominating it.

That’s it.

No CD’s were pressed, no lavish parties were thrown, and no favors were called in.  He simply let Academy members know the song was in contention for an award and brought its existence up with other members.  Somehow this violates the Academy’s campaigning rules though, so the nomination has been yanked.  No other song has been nominated in its place, which makes the whole thing all the more strange.  

The thing that makes my head spin on this is how can such a simple act be considered a violation of campaigning rules by the Academy?  Let’s not pretend that the Oscars are a big popularity contest to a certain extent.  Campaigning is the lifeblood of what keeps these awards breathing from the beginning to end.
If there is no campaigning there is no money or perks to be made in all of this, and thus there is no reason to have awards.  Studios throw big parties and invite their fellow Academy members and friends all the time, for the sole purpose of kissing butt while mentioning “by the way, you going to vote for my movie?”  

Harvey Weinstein has used e-mail addresses and much, much more to get his films nominated.  The ethnics behind campaigning have always been in question.  Remember the whole “Hoop Dreams” scandal?  That was a situation where it was well documented that members of the documentary branch fudged with the voting numbers of that film, where a few members were so threatened by outsiders coming onto their turf that they gave the film their lowest grades to force it off the ballot.

I don’t recall the Academy acting swiftly to fix what was an obvious abuse of power in THAT situation!  For that matter, songs by music branch members get nominated all the time.  Is the Academy going to go back in the past and disqualify every song that is by a music branch member that campaigned even a little bit?  From where I stand the grassroots campaign for this song was in no more violation of the Academy’s rules than any other campaigning that was done for the other songs.  

I mean, if this song could get disqualified because a few e-mails were sent out, then why does Disney get to keep their nomination when they send out screeners, pressed CD’s, and (you guessed it) e-mails with multiple YouTube links?  You can hear the song below and judge for yourself if it should have been nominated or not, because the Academy won’t be doing that now.

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