Academy CEO Bill Kramer said after the annual meeting following the nomination that “the components of the regulation need to be clarified.”
“To Leslie” star Andrea Riseborough still has a spot in the Best Actress race.
But after the actress’ surprise nomination last week raised questions about the campaign’s tactics, changes are on the way. Following its annual nomination meeting with the Board of Governors, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today issued a statement addressing the situation and the decision to validate Riseborough’s nomination. Kramer also said the Academy will update its campaign rules in the coming weeks.
Academy CEO Bill Kramer said that after reviewing the questionable tactics of the “To Leslie” campaign, the Academy “has determined that the activity in question does not rise to the level of withdrawing the film’s nomination. However, we have discovered social media and outreach tactics that are cause for concern. We will discuss these tactics directly with the responsible parties.”
The scandal began when Oscar-winning stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Winslet took to social media to promote Riseborough’s performance in the micro-budget indie drama ahead of the monthly voting deadline. When Riseborough ended up getting a Best Actress nomination, while expected nominees Viola Davis (“The Woman King”) and Danielle Deadwyler (“Till”) did not, controversy erupted over whether or not “To Leslie” was an aggressive campaign tactic. The camp somehow hindered the Academy’s progress in ensuring diversity in acting nominations.
“The purpose of the Academy’s campaign rules is to ensure a fair and ethical awards process,” the Academy’s statement said. “These are the core values of the Academy. Based on this review, it is clear that certain elements of the regulation need to be clarified to help create a better framework for respectful, inclusive and unbiased campaigning.”
A similar sentiment was shared with Academy membership in an email that included hyperlinks to the organization’s standards of conduct, awards rules and campaign policy. (She was not credited as “Leslie.”) “As we head into final voting, please make sure you adhere to the Academy’s Code of Conduct, as well as the current Award Rules and Campaign Rules,” Kramer wrote in an email to members. “Also, please refrain from publicly discussing your voting preferences or trying to persuade others to vote similarly.”
Kramer added that the official changes “will be made after this awards cycle and will be shared with our membership.” No specific timeline was given, though the board of governors usually meets several weeks after the Oscars, which this year will take place on March 12, 2023.
Additional reporting by Eric Kohn.
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