Following the controversy of Andrea Riseborough into this year’s Best Actress nominees, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences stands to state that they will not revoke her Oscar nomination. However, as Deadline reports, AMPAS CEO Bill Kramer expresses that they will take necessary steps to study the ways how it happened and update the rules for future proceedings.
The controversy began not because people believed Riseborough didn’t deserve the nomination. There are many critics claiming that her work in To Leslie is her best performance yet. The issue started when the campaign for her to be included in the nominations featured actions that the Academy deemed forbidden, especially during the voting season.
Less than two weeks after the Academy announced their official nominees this year, an intriguing development as to the lineup of Best Actress nominations has risen. Many are saying that because Riseborough’s supporters’ campaign, it cost the inclusion of frontrunners Viola Davis for The Woman King and Danielle Deadwyler for Till.
Social media followers now point out that Black actresses are not represented this year. Considering the other two films performed better at the box office with also better audience traction than To Leslie, fans and followers say Davis and Deadwyler deserve the nomination as well.
However, the Academy now stating that the nomination will not be revoked but that they will look into the measures the Riseborough campaign took also ruffled a lot of feathers. Now, they are facing the accusation that they are doing so because grassroots-esque campaign does not benefit the Academy financially.
Academy In Quagmire Due To Andrea Riseborough Campaign
Fans acknowledge Riseborough’s performance in the movie as one of her best, if not ‘the’. Many famous Hollywood stars used their own platform to promote the film and for her to be considered as a nominee. As these individuals are influencers themselves, social media did its work in trumpeting Riseborough’s bid for a spot on the list.
Deadline reports that stars such as Charlize Theron, Gwyneth Paltrow, Courteney Cox, Edward Norton, Jennifer Aniston and Minnie Driver hosted screenings of the movie. Marc Maron had Riseborough on his popular podcast WTF. Even more stars followed, such as Demi Moore, Jane Fonda, Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet, Laura Dern, Frances Fisher and many more.
Christina Ricci is quoted in her recently deleted post on Instagram following the news that the Academy means to investigate campaigns. She posted:
Seems hilarious that the ‘surprise nomination’ (meaning tons of money wasn’t spent to position this actress) of a legitimately brilliant performance is being met with an investigation. So it’s only the films and actors that can afford the campaigns that deserve recognition? Feels elitist and exclusive.
The need for an investigation surfaced because there are certain statements saying people were told that Riseborough needs their vote more than Davis or Deadwyler because the two latter actresses are already “locked in”. An article from Forbes list key events leading to the issue at hand.
Apparently, supporters of Riseborough’s potential to be this year’s winner conducted activities and made statements that the Academy does not allow. However, these activities are done voluntarily and only utilized social media to increase the traction of Riseborough’s campaign.
Why Is An Investigation Needed At All?
The complete official statement of AMPAS CEO Bill Kramer is as follows:
Based on concerns that surfaced last week around the TO LESLIE awards campaign, the Academy began a review into the film’s campaigning tactics. The Academy has determined the activity in question does not rise to the level that the film’s nomination should be rescinded. However, we did discover social media and outreach campaigning tactics that caused concern. These tactics are being addressed with the responsible parties directly.
The purpose of the Academy’s campaign regulations is to ensure a fair and ethical awards process—these are core values of the Academy. Given this review, it is apparent that components of the regulations must be clarified to help create a better framework for respectful, inclusive, and unbiased campaigning. These changes will be made after this awards cycle and will be shared with our membership. The Academy strives to create an environment where votes are based solely on the artistic and technical merits of the eligible films and achievements.
It seems that if the Academy takes a step to save one foot, it will hurt the other. Sounding off the current impressions online, I do concur with the question as to why didn’t they just include Davis and Deadwyler in the list of nominees? As there have been instances where there were more than just five nominees for the award, why didn’t they just do the same this year? Only one will win but can’t they consider adding one or two more names to the list of nominees?
At this point, if they do ever add the two actresses to the list, there will also be repercussions to that decision. Thus, Academy quagmire.
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