Thursday, February 25, 2010

Holy Academy rule-breaking, Batman!

Looks like the Oscars could get even MORE unpredictable, as "The Hurt Locker" just came under SERIOUS fire for its producer making a nasty campaign mistake. Since I'm not as eloquent as the Los Angeles Times, I'll let them do the explaining:

Copied from the full story here.

Looks like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has clamped down hard on "The Hurt Locker" co-producer Nicolas Chartier for sending out an e-mail blast that urged colleagues to campaign aggressively for his movie to win the Oscar for best picture while it also trashed a rival film.

Chartier just issued a follow-up e-mail apologizing for his "extremely inappropriate" e-mail, which violated the Academy Awards' rules, adding, "My naivete, ignorance of the rules and plain stupidity as a first-time nominee is not an excuse for this behavior and I strongly regret it." See details of the academy rules here.

Oscars Academy Awards Hurt Locker news

On Tuesday, Pete Hammond reported on Chartier's first e-mail that blitzed Hollywood begging academy members to tell other voters to back "The Hurt Locker" and — in an obvious slam at "Avatar" — "not a $500M film."

The academy has not yet issued a statement about how it intends to deal with this severe violation of Oscar campaign rules. Penalties could be equally harsh, including the withdrawal of some tickets to the Oscar ceremony. Gold Derby asked AMPAS for its response, but so far we've not yet heard back from the press office.

Below is Chartier's original e-mail, followed by his apology e-mail.

I hope all is well with you. I just wanted to write you and say I hope you liked Hurt Locker and if you did and want us to win, please tell (name deleted) and your friends who vote for the Oscars, tell actors, directors, crew members, art directors, special effects people, if everyone tells one or two of their friends, we will win and not a $500M film, we need independent movies to win like the movies you and I do, so if you believe The Hurt Locker is the best movie of 2010, help us!

I'm sure you know plenty of people you've worked with who are academy members whether a publicist, a writer, a sound engineer, please take 5 minutes and contact them. Please call one or two persons, everything will help!

best regards,

Nicolas Chartier Voltage Pictures

The apology e-mail:


Last week I emailed you regarding the Oscars next week, generally, and
"The Hurt Locker," in particular.

My email to you was out of line and not in the spirit of the celebration of
cinema that this acknowledgement is. I was even more wrong, both personally
and professionally, to ask for your help in encouraging others to vote for
the film and to comment on another movie. As passionate as I am about the
film we made, this was an extremely inappropriate email to send, and
something that the Academy strongly disapproves of in the rules.

My naivete, ignorance of the rules and plain stupidity as a first time
nominee is not an excuse for this behavior and I strongly regret it. Being
nominated for an Academy Award is the ultimate honor and I should have taken
the time to read the rules.

I am emailing each person this very same statement asking to retract my
previous email and requesting that you please disregard it.

I truly apologize to anyone I have offended.

Sincerely yours,

best regards,

Nicolas Chartier
Voltage Pictures, LLC

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