Academy “Conducting Review Of Campaign Procedures” Days After Oscar Noms Revealed

Speculation about potential Oscar-campaigning irregularities in the wake of this week’s nominations reveal has led the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to put out a statement today saying it is “conducting a review of the campaign procedures around this year’s nominees.”

The org also said that it is mulling “whether changes to the guidelines may be needed in a new era of social media and digital communication.” Read the full statement from a spokesperson below.

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The AMPAS statement doesn’t mention a specific film or individual, but some are theorizing that it is in response to Andrea Risebourogh’s surprise nomination for the little-seen drama To Leslie. Speaking to Deadline after her nom Tuesday, she said: “I’m astounded. … It was so hard to believe it might ever happen because we really hadn’t been in the running for anything else. Even though we had a lot of support, the idea it might actually happen seemed so far away.”

To Leslie made a little over $27,000 during its brief theatrical release in October, making it among the lowest-grossing movies ever to score an Oscar nomination. 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 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 popular podcast WTF.

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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.

Here is the Academy’s full statement:

It is the Academy’s goal to ensure that the Awards competition is conducted in a fair and ethical manner, and we are committed to ensuring an inclusive awards process.

We are conducting a review of the campaign procedures around this year’s nominees, to ensure that no guidelines were violated, and to inform us whether changes to the guidelines may be needed in a new era of social media and digital communication.

We have confidence in the integrity of our nomination and voting procedures, and support genuine grassroots campaigns for outstanding performances.

Erik Pedersen contributed to this report.

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