Oy, now there’s even more about Oscar badmouthing, and this is even more unimportant. I’ve learned that Hurt Locker financier and producer Nicolas Chartier today admitted to Summit Entertainment he sent more emails about Avatar. But these weren’t mass mailings to Oscar voters; rather, they were simply individual messages sent to personal acquaintances, including one that specifically said Avatar should be placed No. 10 on the Best Pictures list. Sources tell me that Chartier copped to it when Summit’s Rob Friedman today picked up the phone to question the producer about a new allegation from a Los Angeles Times blog that there were more Chartier emails. That prompted Summit to send out the following statement just now: “Summit and our consultants were completely unaware of any emails that were sent until we were alerted by the Academy earlier this week. Thus we also had no additional knowledge of different text that may have been sent by this producer.”
Summit through its flacks have asked LA Times blogger Pete Hammond to forward even one of the emails mentioned today, but the blogger has refused. His reason? It would “violate the confidentiality” of the recipient who is the producer’s personal acquaintance “so Chartier would know who it is” if made public. I have not seen these personal emails myself. I do think, however, that the Los Angeles Times should have explained in its posting that there was no other mass mailing to Oscar voters by Chartier. It makes a difference. Because can you imagine if Hollywood’s private correspondence about the Oscar pics were monitored by the Academy Awards rules police?
By the way, Summit expects that, if Chartier is to be disciplined by the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences for that February 19th mass mailing email, it won’t happen until after the voting period ends. (See my previous, Academy May Discipline ‘The Hurt Locker’)