A nomination for this year’s best song Oscar has been revoked after it emerged that its composer Bruce Broughton contacted voters.
Bruce Broughton, an ex-Academy governor, is accused of using his position to promote the title song from Alone Yet Not Alone, an independent film with a Christian message.
The Academy said his emails, though “well-intentioned”, had created “the appearance of an unfair advantage”.
In a statement, Bruce Broughton said he was “devastated” by the Academy’s decision.
“I indulged in the simplest grass roots campaign and it went against me when the song started getting attention,” he continued.
“I got taken down by competition that had months of promotion and advertising behind them. I simply asked people to find the song and consider it.”
In its own statement, the Academy said Bruce Broughton’s actions were “inconsistent with the Academy’s promotional regulations”.
Bruce Broughton is accused of using his position to promote the title song from Alone Yet Not Alone
The ousted track will not be replaced by another contender, leaving four compositions to compete for this year’s award for best original song.
Many were surprised when Alone Yet Not Alone was nominated on January 16 alongside songs by such established acts as U2, Karen O and Pharrell Williams.
Composed by Bruce Broughton and lyricist Dennis Spiegel, the song is performed by Joni Eareckson Tada, a 64-year-old quadriplegic and evangelical minister with little professional experience.
Concerns were soon raised over how a little-known composition from a relatively obscure film had beaten songs by the likes of Lana Del Rey and Taylor Swift.
The movie – a period drama about two sisters captured by American Indians in 18th Century Ohio – has also prompted criticism for its depiction of native Americans.
Bruce Broughton, who was previously Oscar-nominated for his score for 1985 western Silverado, is a member of the Academy’s music branch executive committee.
It is not unprecedented for nominations to be rescinded. In 1973, Nino Rota’s score for The Godfather was disqualified after it was deemed that he had reused music from one of his earlier scores.
The 2014 Academy Awards will be held on March 2 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
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Tom Sherak, former president of the Academy of Motion Pictures, has died aged 68.
Tom Sherak’s family confirmed he died at home on Tuesday after suffering from prostate cancer for 12 years.
He oversaw hits such as Titanic, Alien and Die Hard during 17 years at 20th Century Fox and led the Oscars organization from 2009 to 2012.
The Academy said it was “deeply saddened” by Tom Sherak’s passing.
The movie executive was awarded with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame just hours before his death, but was unable to attend the ceremony.
Tom Sherak served three terms on the Board of Governors, from August 2003 until July 2012, with the last three as president.
Tom Sherak led the Oscars organization from 2009 to 2012
He was credited with renewing the public’s interest in the Oscars ceremony, and extended the best picture category, making more room for box office hits.
Tom Sherak was responsible for completing a deal for the academy’s new film museum with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which is set to open in 2017.
“Tom is a true hero in our lives who has a star on the sidewalk and wings to fly,” said the Sherak family in a statement released by the academy and addressed “to the entertainment community”.
They hailed him as a “loving husband, daddy, papa, brother, friend, and <<go to guy>>.”
The Academy’s chief executive Dawn Hudson called him “my mentor and my friend”.
“I learned from him, I laughed with him, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the time we shared together.
“He had a huge influence on the direction of our Academy and on me personally,” said Dawn Hudson.
Current president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said: “In the more than 30 years I’ve known Tom, his passionate support of and excitement about the motion picture business, the Academy, his family and friends never wavered.”
Tom Sherak was chairman of 20th Century Fox’s domestic film group until 2000, working on high profile blockbusters such as Wall Street, Independence Day and Star Wars: Episode 1 The Phantom Menace.
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Gravity and 12 Years a Slave have tied for the top prize at this year’s Producer’s Guild of America (PGA) Awards.
It is the first time the guild has declared a tie for best film in its 25-year history, another indicator that this year’s Oscars race is wide open.
The PGA has correctly picked the film that has gone on to win best picture at the Oscars for the last six years.
Disney’s Frozen won best animation and Behind the Candelabra won best TV film.
ABC’s Modern Family picked up the best episodic comedy award, while Breaking Bad won for best episodic TV drama.
Gravity and 12 Years a Slave have tied for the top prize at this year’s Producer’s Guild of America Awards
James Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson were among those given special honors for their contribution to film.
We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks, scooped best documentary, while The Voice won best competitive TV series.
Other winners included Sesame Street, which won outstanding children’s program.
The PGA Awards followed hot on the tails of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, which also took place this weekend – SAG voters eschewed both Gravity and 12 Years a Slave, choosing instead 1970s crime caper American Hustle for its top honor.
The Oscars will take place on March 2. Voting among the 6,000 members runs from February 14 to 25.
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Voting for the 2014’s Academy Awards nominees has begun today.
Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are invited to cast secret ballots for their favorite film work from 2013 until January 8, 2014.
Nominations for the 86th Academy Awards will be announced January 16
The academy is offering electronic voting for the second consecutive year. It announced last week that 289 feature films are eligible for best-picture consideration.
Nominations for the 86th Academy Awards will be announced January 16.
Ellen DeGeneres will host the ceremony when the Oscars are presented on March 2.
Novelist Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, whose scripts for Howards End and A Room With A View earned her two Oscars, has died at home in New York at the age of 85.
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala made more than 20 films with producer Ismail Merchant and director James Ivory over 40 years.
The writer also won the Booker Prize for her 1975 novel Heat and Dust, meaning she was the only person to have won an Oscar and the Booker.
Novelist Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, whose scripts for Howards End and A Room With A View earned her two Oscars, has died at home in New York at the age of 85
Born in Germany, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala fled the Nazis as a schoolgirl in 1939 with her parents and brother to begin a new life in Britain. She spent much of her life in India.
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala had been suffering from a pulmonary disorder and is survived by husband Cyrus and daughters Renana, Ava and Firoza-Bibi.
After meeting her future husband in London, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala moved with him to his native India in the 1950s, where she was visited by Isamil Merchant and James Ivory to ask if they could make a film of her 1960 novel The Householder.
She agreed to write the screenplay and it was to mark the beginning of a fruitful partnership.
The trio’s films included A Room With a View and Howards End, for which Ruth Prawer Jhabvala collected the Academy Award in 1987 and 1993 respectively. Both were adapted from novels by EM Forster.
The novelist was nominated for a third Oscar in 1994 for the script for The Remains of the Day.
Actress Emma Thompson, who starred in The Remains of the Day and Howards End, said of Ruth Prawer Jhabvala in 1993: “She’s a novelist, so she understands the art of adapting novels better than most anyone else.
“She understands the process, the <<buzz of implication>> that surrounds words… Ruth understands it completely.”