Marc Maron condemns Academy for investigating Andrea Riseborough’s Oscars campaign

Actor and podcast host accused organisation of ‘paranoia’ and said Riseborough is ‘not undeserving’ of a nomination

Ellie Harrison
Tuesday 31 January 2023 09:50 GMT
To Leslie trailer

Marc Maron has condemned the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after it announced it would be investigating Andrea Riseborough’s grassroots Oscar campaign, which led to her Best Actress nomination for To Leslie.

Maron, 59, who stars as motel owner Sweeney in the indie film alongside Riseborough’s spiralling single mother, blasted the Academy on the latest episode of his WTF podcast, which was released on Monday (30 January).

“Apparently, the Academy of Motion Picture Sciences or whatever the f*** it is has decided to investigate Andrea Riseborough’s grassroots campaign to get her the Oscar nomination,” he said.

“Because I guess it so threatens their system that they’re completely bought out by corporate interests in the form of studios.”

He added: “Millions of dollars [are] put into months and months of advertising campaigns, publicity, screenings by large corporate entertainment entities and Andrea was championed by her peers through a grassroots campaign which was pushed through by a few actors.”

Maron argued that the Oscars campaign was “in earnest” and that Riseborough is “not undeserving”, adding: “But I’m glad the Academy – at the behest of special interest and corporate interest and paranoia about how they look – are doing an investigation. Who gives a f***?”

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.

Andrea Riseborough in ‘To Leslie’
Andrea Riseborough in ‘To Leslie’ (Momentum Pictures)

Following a brief release in cinemas in October, 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.

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

Christina Ricci is another actor who has publicly defended Riseborough since the Academy announced its review.

Only six nominations have ever been revoked since the Oscars began in 1929, but no actors have ever had their nomination 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

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