Disqualified Oscar Nominee Fires Back at Academy: ‘This is Stupid and Hypocritical’

Disqualified Oscar Nominee Fires Back at Academy: 'This is Stupid and Hypocritical'

AMPAS

Bruce Broughton claims Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs has conflicts of interest

Disqualified Oscar nominee Bruce Broughton hit back at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Monday after his work composing the title track to “Alone Yet Not Alone” was stripped of its nomination last week, calling the decision on the song's eligibility “stupid and hypocritical.”

Broughton, a former governor of the Academy's Music Branch and head of the branch's executive committee for four years, got in trouble for illegal campaigning tactics after he emailed voters in the branch to bring attention to the song, the title track to a little-known Christian historical drama that played for one week in Encino but is not scheduled to open until this summer.

However, in an open letter he claims that his tactics were not in violation of any ethical standards, and notes that Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs has conflicts of interest from her work as a film marketing executive on past Oscar contenders.

(Isaacs, a member of the Academy's Public Relations Branch, served as a consultant on Oscar campaigns while on the board, but has halted all campaign work while serving as president.)

Also read: Songwriter Loses Oscar Nomination Over Illegal Lobbying

“If, as you quote the Academy's rules, ‘it is the Academy's goal to ensure that the Awards competition is conducted in a fair and ethical manner,’ and my 70 or so emails constitutes a breach of that standard, why could the current Academy president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, consult on Academy Award nominated projects like ‘The Artist,’ ‘The King's Speech’ and others with a history as an Academy governor that far exceeds mine and at the same time produce the Governors’ Ball without having that look like a breach of the same standard?” Broughton writes.

On Saturday, the Academy issued a statement  in which it explained  that the judging process for the original song category is meant to be anonymous, with voters given a DVD with film clips, along with a sheet listing the names of songs and the movies they come from, but not the names of their composers.  In an email sent to at least 70 of the branch's voters, Broughton allegedly brought attention to the fact that he had co-written entry No. 57 on the list of entries, which the Academy said violates its rules.

A spokesman for the Academy did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Broughton's letter.

Here's the full text of the letter from Broughton to the Academy's communications director Teri Melidonian and CEO Dawn Hudson:

Dear Teni,

I just looked at the Academy release of the rescinding of the nomination and came upon this line in the penultimate paragraph: “Members were asked to watch the clips and then vote in the order of their preference for not more than five nominees in the category.” This isn't at all accurate.

What the letter that Charlie Fox sent to accompany the DVD actually said was: “When making your voting selections, simply select up to five songs in order of your preference. We hope that you will watch (italics mine) the enclosed DVD and use it to better inform your voting decision.”

Based upon that italicized phrase, I decided to send some emails.

Furthermore, if, as you quote the Academy's rules, “it is the Academy's goal to ensure that the Awards competition is conducted in a fair and ethical manner,” and my 70 or so emails constitutes a breach of that standard, why could the current Academy president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, consult on Academy Award nominated projects like The Artist, The King's Speech and others with a history as an Academy governor that far exceeds mine and at the same time produce the Governors’ Ball without having that look like a breach of the same standard?

I am of course copying Dawn Hudson on this email, and would have included Cheryl if I had had her email address.

Best regards,

Bruce Broughton

  • Steven Burgas

    It's pretty clear he is in violation.

  • Bradgina

    Even if the song wasn't rubbish, a violation is a violation.

  • tontone

    It only shows the liberal bias in Hollywood. It is a song from a faith based film, and Hollywood liberals are opposed. Just like Maria Conchita Alonso, when she was fired from The Vagina Monologs for doing a commercial for a Tea Party candidate. The left wing Hollywood bias is unbearable.

    • Steven Burgas

      How amusing that this ‘faith based film’ required someone of questionable morals and ethics to get it nominated for something to begins with.

      The rest of your comments are simply ignorant and biased.

    • The Great and Powerful Turtle

      stop making yourself look like an idiot ..it has nothing to do with it being a faith based film

    • UrbanCyclist666

      So what if Hollywood has a liberal bias. That's good. Facts have a liberal bias too.

      This guy cheated and got caught, liberal bias or not. If you don't like it, start your own Academy of Hillbilly Awards. Then you can have all the Christian-based, gun-toting, inbred fun you like. You'll be able to cheat all you want, and nobody will care.

  • Jake

    Does he not understand the difference between himself and Isaacs? She may simultaneously an Academy Governor and a campaigner for Best Picture frontrunners, but that doesn't mean she specifically asked her fellow Academy members to to please consider the movies she was working on. Campaigning in the open to the Academy at large is a lot different from personal “for your consideration” emails to friends.

  • The Great and Powerful Turtle

    this is really annoying …from what ive read if he had e-mailed all of the voting members and asked them to vote for his song or even sent them the song it self then he would have broken NO rules,but because the e-mail used the number of the song on the official academy DVD he was deemed to have broken the rules ..
    that's just so unfair

  • Bitemelo

    To quote an ACTUAL nominated song- “Let it go”!

  • Frank C

    The infraction was the person that had something to gain (an Oscar) was also a member of the Academy and used their familiarity and access to other Academy members to essentially lobby them to personally consider his work. The major difference with himself and Isaacs was she did not have anything to personally gain and didn't specifically lobby members to consider the films she advised on based on her specific familiarity with them. The fairness issue is rather clear. No one else has such an advantage in that particular category, nor should they.

  • UrbanCyclist666

    You cheated. You got caught.