The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said today that it won’t take any action to revoke Andrea Riseborough’s Oscar nomination for To Leslie. “The Academy has determined the activity in question does not rise to the level that the film’s nomination should be rescinded,” AMPAS CEO Bill Kramer said in a statement (read it below).
The Academy had been conducting a review of the campaign procedures around this year’s Oscar nominees — a reaction to Riseborough’s left-field, grassroots nomination for her little-seen film. She received a groundswell of support from fellow actors in the weeks leading up to January 24 nominations.
AMPAS also said last week that it was mulling “whether changes to the guidelines may be needed in a new era of social media and digital communication.”
To Leslie took in a little over $27,000 during its brief theatrical release in October, making it among the lowest-grossing movies ever to score an Oscar nom. With next to no budget for an awards campaign, the principals took it upon themselves to make sure the pic was entered and uploaded onto the Academy’s screening portal, and Riseborough and director Michael Morris turned to friends to help support the film. Screenings were hosted by the likes of Charlize Theron, Gwyneth Paltrow, Courteney Cox, Edward Norton, Jennifer Aniston and Minnie Driver. To Leslie co-star Marc Maron hosted Riseborough on his widely heard podcast WTF.
RELATED: Marc Maron Blasts Academy Over Andrea Riseborough Grassroots Oscar Campaign Review: “They’re Completely Bought Out By Corporate Interests”
In the last days before voting closed, a campaign on social media led by those stars and others, including Demi Moore, Jane Fonda, Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet, Laura Dern, Frances Fisher and many more, rocketed Riseborough into the conversation.
Several of those folks and others have questioned the Academy’s review of Riseborough’s nom during the past week. Maron ripped the group on his podcast, saying, “Apparently, the Academy of Motion Picture Sciences or whatever the f*ck it is has decided to investigate Andrea Riseborough’s grassroots campaign to get her the Oscar nomination because I guess it so threatens their system to where they’re completely bought out by corporate interests in the form of studios.”
RELATED: Andrea Riseborough Reacts To Surprise Best Actress Oscar Nomination For ‘To Leslie’: “I’m Not Entirely Sure How This Happened”
Ricci said Friday on social media: “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 and frankly very backward to me.”
Here is Kramer’s statement in full:
“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.”
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