A nominee for the Best Original Song at this year’s Academy Awards has been disqualified after the song's composer broke campaigning rules.
“Alone Yet Not Alone”, from the Christian faith movie of the same name, has been removed from the running after inappropriate campaigning on behalf of the song’s composer, Bruce Broughton.
Broughton, a former governor and current music branch executive committee member, was found to have emailed his colleagues to alert them of his submission while the nominations were under consideration.
Oscars 2014: The long, expensive road to Academy Award glory and the tips for successful campaigning
With lyrics written by Dennis Spiegel and vocals performed by quadriplegic singer Joni Eareckson Tada, the “Alone Yet Not Alone” team are reported to be distraught at the Board’s decision.
Tada, an Evangelical minister with limited lung capacity, needed her husband Ken to push against her diaphragm while she recorded the song, so that she could take in enough air to reach the highest notes.
“I indulged in the simplest, lamest, grass-roots campaign and it went against me when the song started getting attention,” a “devastated” Broughton told Variety.
“I got taken down by competition that had months of promotion and advertising behind them. I simply asked people to find the song and consider it.”
Other contenders in the Best Original Song longlist had questioned how a little-known song from an independent film had beaten tracks by more prominent musicians to the final list, according to industry insider The Hollywood Reporter. "Young and Beautiful" by Lana Del Rey was snubbed, despite appearing in Baz Luhrmann's blockbuster, The Great Gatsby. Coldplay, Taylor Swift and Celine Dion also missed out on Oscars acknowledgement.
Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy, released a statement about the withdrawal of “Alone Yet Not Alone”.
“No matter how well-intentioned the communication, using one’s position as a former governor and current executive committee member to personally promote one’s own Oscar submission creates the appearance of an unfair advantage,” she said.
“It is the Academy’s goal to ensure that the Awards competition is conducted in a fair and ethical manner,” the Board’s promotional rules and regulations read. “If any campaign activity is determined by the Board of Governors to work in opposition to that goal, whether or not anticipated by these regulations, the Board of Governors may take any corrective actions or assess any penalties that in its discretion it deems necessary to protect the reputation and integrity of the awards process.”
It is not the first time that a nominee has been dropped ahead of the Oscars. In 1972, Nino Rota’s score for The Godfather was scrapped after the Board discovered key sections had already been used in an earlier film.
The Academy Award for Documentary Feature went to Young Americans in 1968, only for it to be revoked when voters realised it had debuted in 1967.
“Alone Yet Not Alone” will not be replaced by a new nominee in the Original Song category.
Nominees still in the running are: “Let It Go” from Frozen, “The Moon Song” from Her, “Happy from Despicable Me 2 and “Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom.
The Best Original Song category nominees are voted for by 240 members of the Academy’s music branch, who are sent clips with film and song titles without the names of the composer or lyricist.
The 86th Academy Awards winners will be announced on 2 March.
Oscars 2014: Best Actor and Actress nominees
Oscars 2014: Best Actor and Actress nominees
1/20 Cate Blanchett (Best Actress)
Blanchett has been nominated for Best Actress for her role as a deeply troubled New York socialite in Blue Jasmine.
2/20 Sandra Bullock (Best Actress)
Bullock is nominated for her performance as a medical engineer in Alfonso Cuaron's space adventure Gravity.
3/20 Meryl Streep (Best Actress)
Here pictured left with Julianne Nicholson and Juliette Lewis, Streep has earned a nod for her performance as Violet Weston in August: Osage County.
4/20 Judi Dench (Best Actress)
British actress Dench is up for Best Actress for her role as Philomena Lee in Stephen Frears' Philomena.
5/20 Amy Adams (Best Actress)
Adams is nominated for Best Actress for her role as Sydney Prosser in American Hustle - here pictured left with Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence.
Francois Duhamel/ Annapurna Productions
6/20 Leonardo DiCaprio (Best Actor)
DiCaprio has picked up his fourth Oscar nomination - but will he finally win? - for his performance as debauched stockbroker Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street.
7/20 Chiwetel Ejiofor (Best Actor)
British actor Ejiofor has been nominated for an Oscar for his role as Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave.
8/20 Matthew McConaughey (Best Actor)
McConaughey is up for Best Actor Oscar for his role as an emaciated AIDS patient who smuggles anti-viral drugs into the US in Dallas Buyers Club.
9/20 Christian Bale (Best Actor)
British actor Bale has earned a nod for his performance as con artist Irving Rosenfeld in American Hustle.
10/20 Bruce Dern (Best Actor)
Dern, left, is nominated for his role in Nebraska as elderly father Woody Grant who embarks on a trip with his estranged son.
11/20 Bradley Cooper (Best Supporting Actor)
Cooper, left, has earned an Oscar nod for his supporting role as a wild FBI agent in David O Russell's American Hustle.
12/20 Barkhad Abdi (Best Supporting Actor)
Abdi is up for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as a Somali pirate who hijacks Tom Hanks' ship in Captain Phillips.
13/20 Michael Fassbender (Best Supporting Actor)
Michael Fassbender, left, is nominated for his role as plantation owner Edwin Epps in Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave.
14/20 Jared Leto (Best Supporting Actor)
Leto has picked up a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role as a transgender AIDS patient in Dallas Buyers Club.
15/20 Jonah Hill (Best Supporting Actor)
Hill has earned a nod for his supporting role as a charismatic salesman in The Wolf of Wall Street - pictured here, left, in a scene with Best Actor nominee DiCaprio.
16/20 Julia Roberts (Best Supporting Actress)
Julia Roberts, here seen embracing Best Actress nominee Meryl Streep, is nominated for her role in August: Osage County.
17/20 Jennifer Lawrence (Best Supporting Actress)
Lawrence has been nominated for her role as Rosalyn Rosenfeld in American Hustle - she won Best Actress for Silver Linings Playbook last year.
18/20 Lupita Nyong'o (Best Supporting Actress)
Kenyan actress Nyong'o has earned a nod for her role as Patsey in 12 Years a Slave, here pictured with Best Supporting Actor nominee Michael Fassbender.
19/20 Sally Hawkins (Best Supporting Actress)
Sally Hawkins, left, and Andrew Dice Clay in a scene from the Woody Allen film, Blue Jasmine. British actor Hawkins is nominated for her role as Jasmine's sister Ginger.
20/20 June Squibb (Best Supporting Actress)
Squibb is nominated for her role as Kate Grant, wife of Best Actor nominee Bruce Dern's character in Alexander Payne's Nebraska.