‘To Leslie’ Oscars controversy, explained

Just a few years after Wrong Movie won Best Picture(Opens in a new window)we might see a surprise nomination revoked ahead of the Oscars airing on March 12.

When the Oscars nominations were announced last week, one of the more shocking revelations was that Andrea Riseborough had been nominated for her role To Leslie. In case you haven’t heard of it To Leslie, do not worry; The film grossed less than $30,000 at the box office. It’s a small independent production about a single mother who wins the lottery and many big Hollywood names like Edward Norton and Kate Winslet publicly endorsed the film in a grassroots campaign during Oscar voting.


First-time nominees for acting dominate the nominations for the 2023 Oscars

That’s all well and good, right? After all, box office success has nothing to do with the quality of a film or the performance in it. However, according to the academy, something could have gone wrong with the whole situation. per deadline(Opens in a new window)the organization released a statement on Friday announcing a review of the nomination process. It wasn’t named Riseborough or To Leslie direct, but everyone seems to agree, that’s what the statement is about:

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 campaign procedures surrounding this year’s nominees to ensure no policies have been violated and to inform us if policy changes may be needed in a new era of social media and digital communications.

We trust the integrity of our nomination and voting processes and support genuine grassroots campaigns for excellence.

It is unclear whether and which rules were broken here. The academy has a long list of policies(Opens in a new window) for the nomination process, but that’s not proof of it. Per vanity fair(Opens in a new window)some Academy voters were contacted with the suggestion that they watch the film and support it online, which could theoretically violate the Academy’s lobbying rules.

For reference: Oscar nominations can be revoked, but it is rare. The few times it has happened has usually been something like the movie premiered on TV before it hit theaters, or a movie that came out in the wrong year. Most relevant to To LeslieThe case of is that a Best Original Song nomination was revoked(Opens in a new window) in 2014 because songwriter Bruce Broughton emailed Academy members during the voting period.

The academy meets on Tuesday vanity fair also reported that a retracted nomination is unlikely.

Aside from the surprising way through which To Leslie has entered the history of the Oscars, there are other aspects of the controversy. As mentioned in the vanity fair Riseborough (who is white) was reportedly nominated, while black actresses in more well-known roles like Viola Davis in The Woman King or Danielle Deadwyler in until were left out. For an institution with a remarkable history of snubbing black women(Opens in a new window) In particular, from this perspective, it’s easy to see why some wouldn’t be happy about Riseborough’s nomination.

Some people could feel it too To Leslie being unjustly punished for the crime of not being mainstream enough. There’s a level of scrutiny experienced that bigger films didn’t have to worry about, despite having a long, well-documented history(Opens in a new window) by film studios engaging in backroom politics during awards season.

No matter where you land To Leslie‘s nomination, at least those who care more about the Oscar drama than the actual awards have something to do again this year.

https://mashable.com/article/to-leslie-oscars-controversy-explained ‘To Leslie’ Oscars controversy, explained

Zack Zwiezen

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