Oscar Drama: Academy Yanks ’13 Hours’ Sound Mixer’s Nomination for Rules Violation

Greg P. Russell engaged in telephone lobbying, AMPAS says

Last Updated: February 25, 2017 @ 5:52 PM

The Academy has rescinded its Oscar nomination for Greg P. Russell, sound mixer on director Michael Bay’s “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,” for a rules violation.

AMPAS released a statement on Saturday — just one day before the ceremony — that Russell had violated a rule against lobbying other Academy members in phone calls during the nominations phase. The board of governors, on the recommendation of the Sound Branch’s executive committee, voted on Thursday to revoke his nomination as a result.

“The decision was prompted by the discovery that Russell had called his fellow members of the Sound Branch during the nominations phase to make them aware of his work on the film in direct violation of a campaign regulation that prohibits telephone lobbying,” a spokesperson for the academy said in a statement.

The other nominees for the film will remain and be honored should the film win its category: Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Mac Ruth.

“13 Hours” tells the story of the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. It stars John Krasinski.

Read the full announcement:

Upon recommendation by the Sound Branch Executive Committee, the Academy’s Board of Governors voted Thursday (2/23) to rescind the Sound Mixing nomination for Greg P. Russell from “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” for violation of Academy campaign regulations. The decision was prompted by the discovery that Russell had called his fellow members of the Sound Branch during the nominations phase to make them aware of his work on the film, in direct violation of a campaign regulation that prohibits telephone lobbying. An additional nominee for “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” will not be named in his place. The remaining Sound Mixing nominees for the film are Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Mac Ruth.

“The Board of Governors’ decision to rescind Mr. Russell’s nomination was made after careful consideration,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “The Academy takes very seriously the Oscars voting process and anything – no matter how well-intentioned – that may undermine the integrity of that process.”

The Board determined that Russell’s actions violated a campaign regulation that unequivocally prohibits telephone lobbying. It states that “contacting Academy members by telephone to promote a film or achievement is expressly forbidden, even if such contact is in the guise of checking to make sure a screener or other mailing was received.”

The members from each of the Academy’s branches vote to determine the nominees in their respective categories – actors nominate actors, film editors nominate film editors, musicians, composers and lyricists vote the nominations for song and score.

During the nominations process, all 456 voting members of the Sound Branch received a reminder list of film titles eligible in the Sound Mixing category in order to vote.

The nominees for Sound Mixing are:

ARRIVAL
Bernard Gariépy Strobl and Claude La Haye

HACKSAW RIDGE
Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace

LA LA LAND
Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee and Steve A. Morrow

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY
David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson