The Michael Bay helmed war drama, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, has found itself in a crossfire of a very different sort on this Academy Award weekend. It had been nominated in the category of Best Sound Mixing alongside Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, La La Land, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but the Academy has announced that the film had been disqualified for consideration due to a rule breach.
It seems that one of the sound editing crew members, Greg P. Russell, had violated rules around campaigning. The MPAA (the Academy) said in a statement:
The decision was prompted by the discovery that Russell had called his fellow members of the Sound Branch during the nominations phase to make them aware of his work on the film, in direct violation of a campaign regulation that prohibits telephone lobbying.
So while the last month in Hollywood has been full of full page ads in every trade newspaper and magazine, billboards, studios making sure that voting members have every opportunity to see their films with plenty of swag bags along the way, it seems that calling one’s voting peer group to ask for their support is verboten. The distinction is likely because the studio’s efforts come with large financial backing, where one random member doing so doesn’t make anyone any money, so that’s precluded.
It’s not the first time that this has happened for a similar rule violation, it was only three years ago when songwriter Bruce Broughton saw Alone Yet Not Alone pulled from the Best Original Song category after a similar grassroots campaign.
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