Earlier, this afternoon, Bruce Broughton had his say about the rescinding of the Oscar nomination for the title song from Alone Yet Not Alone. Here’s another side of the story, in a letter Deadline obtained that was sent to the Academy by Martin M. Bandier, the influential chairman of Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Like Broughton, he also is calling for changes in the Best Song category, but he specifically has a beef with the rule that doesn’t provide for another nominee to replace one that might be nixed, as happened this year. There certainly were other songs that warranted inclusion, and the one that I thought the category missed most was Lana Del Rey’s haunting “Young and Beautiful,” which added so much to the courtship seen between Gatsby and Daisy in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. There were others, too. Bandier sent the letter to AMPAS chief Cheryl Boone Isaacs, and it won’t be surprising if she spend some energy looking hard at this, but it seemed relevant enough right now to air it here. Read the letter below:
Cheryl Boone Isaacs and members of the Academy
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
8949 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Dear Ms. Isaacs,
As Chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, the world’s largest music publisher, and someone who has long been a songwriter advocate, I feel it is my duty to encourage recognition of songwriters and act as a champion for their fair treatment. Obviously many people have had much to say about the recent disqualification of the 5 best song nominee. That is neither my area nor my argument. However, as an organization whose name celebrates the arts, it is heartbreaking to know that your rules do not allow for the next best artists to be celebrated in the case of a disqualification. On behalf of the thousands of songwriters on our roster, as well as all songwriters across the globe, I would like to formally petition for change in rule to the Best Original Song category (rule 5.7).
The film and music industries are integral in each other’s success. As evidenced by the tributes, musical performances and accompaniments that were featured during the 2013 Academy Awards® ceremony, the film industry is an organization that values music’s contribution to the art form and its ability to help shape a scene. From “The Wizard of Oz” and “Meet Me in St. Louis” to “Singing in the Rain” and “Frozen” to the theme songs from “Rocky” and the James Bond movies, music is deeply rooted in a film’s influence and continues to breathe life into it once it is out of theatres. After such a display of appreciation for music last year, it is disheartening to see the Academy, a body that prides itself on fairness, close the door on a possible Oscar® contender for Best Original Song.
Throughout its 86 years, the Academy has made amendments to rules that were outdated or unfair. Most recently, the Academy attested to the importance of review by updating regulations across award categories , including Best Picture, Best Foreign Language Film and Best Documentary Feature.
As with many other American institutions, from the President of the United States to Miss America, the next-in-line or successor is crucial to ensuring that a fair chance is given. We ask that the Academy exercise a similar level of fairness and extend the opportunity for recognition to another deserving songwriter impacting the industry.
I strongly encourage you to, once again, reevaluate the rules in place, specifically 5.7, and give other songwriters the chance to share their voice.
Martin N. Bandier
Chairman & CEO
Sony/ATV Music Publishing