"Alone Yet Not Alone"? More like nominated yet not nominated.
In a move that is believed to be unprecedented in the 86-year history of the Academy Awards, the rules committee of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided to disqualify a nominee prior to the Oscars ceremony itself.
"The decision was prompted by the discovery that Broughton, a former Governor and current Music Branch executive committee member, had emailed members of the branch to make them aware of his submission during the nominations voting period," the Academy said in a statement Wednesday.
The best original song Oscar nominee "Alone Yet Not Alone," a little-heard tune from a little-seen film of the same name, will not appear on Oscar ballots when the final round of voting begins on Feb. 14. That's because an Academy committee, which met on Jan. 28, concluded that its Oscar campaign violated Academy rules. It remains to be seen if the sixth-highest vote getter among the 75 songs that were shortlisted for one of the five nomination slots will be elevated to the status of a nominee.
Allegations that have been levied against the surprising nominee since Oscar nominations were announced on Jan. 16 have ranged widely. Other outlets have reported that the song's nominated writer Bruce Broughton -- an representative of the music branch on the Academy's board of governors from 2003-2012 -- improperly lobbied the 239 other members of the branch during the nominations voting period. THR, meanwhile, has exclusively reported that the PR team behind one of the 70 songs that were not nominated hired a private investigator to look into the "Alone Yet Not Alone" nomination and that he concluded that it failed to adhere to the Academy's rule 2e, which dictates that to be eligible for Oscar consideration a movie must be "advertised and exploited during its Los Angeles County qualifying run in print media."
Alone’s Oscar-qualifying run took place at the Laemmle Town Center 5 in Encino, where it screened once daily at 9:55 p.m. from Nov. 15 through Nov. 22. The PR firm for "Alone Yet Not Alone," Rogers & Cowan, acknowledged to the PI for the rival song that its song producers "did not purchase any advertising for the one-week L.A. release" of the film.
In response to a query from THR abut the issue, Academy officials conducted an internal inquiry and found that while the producers themselves did not run ads for the film, the showtimes for the film's screenings were advertised by the Laemmle Town Center 5 theater. "A showtime listing meets our eligibility requirements," an Academy spokesperson said.
ETA: According to the Academy's press release: An additional nominee in the Original Song category will not be named. The remaining nominees in the category are:
“Happy” from “Despicable Me 2”
Music and Lyric by Pharrell Williams
“Let It Go” from “Frozen”
Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
“The Moon Song” from “Her”
Music by Karen O; Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze
“Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”
Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen; Lyric by Paul Hewson