Ouch. That’s got to be painful. Your movie is one of the favourites to win the Best Picture Oscar, it’s the pinnacle of your film career and then only a few days before the winners are announced, you get uninvited from the ceremony. That’s what’s happened to Hurt Locker producer, Nicholas Chartier.
We reported yesterday on the controversy that had sprung around Chartier, due to e-mails he sent out asking Academy members to vote for his movie rather than a “$500 million” movie. He also asked them to rank Hurt Locker at number 1 and Avatar at number 10 in the new preferential voting system for Best Picture, as this would help his film’s chances of picking up the main prize. Unfortunately for him though, Academy rules specifically forbid people from campaigning against rival movies, or as they put it, they ban any “attempt to promote any film or achievement by casting a negative light on a competing film or achievement.”
Despite later sending another e-mail apologising, the Academy wasn’t chuffed about what Chartier did and have now banned him from the ceremony, although if his movie does win, he will at least get the Oscar.
However there’s already some dissent, with THR’s Risky Biz blog saying that “With all the corrupt shenanigans and barely whispered smear campaigns that have polluted the Oscar race in years past, this guy gets expelled for sending an email? To me, this is just another example of how there are two sets of rules in Hollywood: those for money-makers, and those for the rest.” They’ve certainly got a point, as big studios have got away in the past with doing a lot worse.