‘Campaigning tactics that caused concern’: Film Academy shares decision over Andrea Riseborough Oscar nomination

‘The Academy has determined the activity in question does not rise to the level that the film’s nomination should be rescinded’

Peony Hirwani
Wednesday 01 February 2023 06:29 GMT
To Leslie trailer

Andrea Riseborough will not be stripped of her Oscar nomination for best actress.

After a review of the awards campaign for the indie drama To Leslie, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced on Tuesday (31 January) that the 41-year-old actor’s nomination stands.

Days after this year’s nominations were announced, the Academy shared a statement saying it is “conducting a review of the campaign procedures around this year’s nominees”.

Actors including Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Charlize Theron, Amy Adams, Jennifer Aniston and Jane Fonda all pushed for Riseborough’s nomination, as did her fellow Best Actress nominee Cate Blanchett, but it is believed that Riseborough called upon her Hollywood peers to spread the word.

Following a brief release in cinemas in October, the drama To Leslie made just over $27,000 (£22,000), which positions it as one of the lowest-grossing movies to have ever received an Oscar nomination.

“The academy has determined the activity in question does not rise to the level that the film’s nomination should be rescinded,” Bill Kramer, academy chief executive, said in a statement. “However, we did discover social media and outreach campaigning tactics that caused concern. These tactics are being addressed with the responsible parties directly.”

The academy has rescinded nominations for campaigning that broke regulations before.

Celebrity-hosted screenings are a regular feature of Oscar season, but how voters are contacted during the Oscar voting period is regulated. On Tuesday, the academy suggested Riseborough’s unorthodox campaign may necessitate tweaks to the bylaws.

“Given this review, it is apparent that components of the regulations must be clarified to help create a better framework for respectful, inclusive, and unbiased campaigning,” said Kramer.

(2023 Invision)

“These changes will be made after this awards cycle and will be shared with our membership. The academy strives to create an environment where votes are based solely on the artistic and technical merits of the eligible films and achievements.”

To Leslie follows the story of a single mother who, after winning the lottery, squanders away the money and leaves behind “a world of heartbreak”. It is available to rent in the UK on Prime Video.

Only six nominations have ever been revoked since the Oscars began in 1929, but no actors have ever had their nominations stripped.

Riseborough’s nomination, paired with the snubbing of The Woman King’s Viola Davis and Till’s Danielle Deadwyler, has led to the resurgence of a race row around the Academy’s voting, with the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag trending on social media.

Additional reporting by agencies

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