So I've been guided towards some ridiculous "news" regarding a new, late game smear campaign against "The Hurt Locker" in this year's oscar race by Kris Tapley of InContention.com. The full "story" is over at Gold Derby. Bottom line, one of the 4 producers sent out an email to academy members urging them to vote for "The Hurt Locker" over rival "$500 million film(s)" like "Avatar". This, of course, is against the rules, but the kind of shitstorm the media is stirring up about this is ridiculous. Later on, the producer issued an apology, stating that he is new to the game and wasn't aware of the rules that say that you can't address members directly and ask for votes. You can beg and plead via FYC ads and media appearances, interviews, etc. But asking directly is a big no-no.
Here's the thing. Despite the producer issuing an apology and the Academy saying they will handle it and that there's nothing to discuss, the media, of course, insists on making this a huge deal. It's wrong. He screwed up. We all agree on this. This kind of action is why the rules are in place, because that kind of behavior was made infamous by Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused many times over of schmoozing Academy voters for their support.
But what's also unacceptable is rival publicists and whatnot making this out to be such a damned outrage. There is no plot to thicken. It's over. Done. He screwed up, then apologized. The Academy addressed the problem. Finished. But what I don't think anyone is understanding is that the Oscars ARE political. Always have been. What, pray-tell, is the difference between this producer's email, and FYC ads, special studio parties, screenings, tributes, etc? Why is one email by a newcomer who didn't know he was breaking the rules so unacceptable and unforgivable?
I doubt this changes anything. We'll find out Sunday March 7th.