Days after this year’s nominations were announced, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences shared a statement saying it is “conducting a review of the campaign procedures around this year’s nominees”.
While the statement did not specifically refer to Riseborough’s nomination, it follows a last-minute grassroots campaign that saw notable Hollywood stars lobbying for voters to place the star of To Leslie at the top of their ballots.
The social media campaign paid off, and Riseborough received a Best Actress nomination on Tuesday (24 January).
However, the Academy said on Friday (27 January): “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 the campaign procedures around this year’s nominees, to ensure that no guidelines were violated, and to inform us whether changes to the guidelines may be needed in a new era of social media and digital communication.
“We have confidence in the integrity of our nomination and voting procedures, and support genuine grassroots campaigns for outstanding performances.”
The findings will reportedly be revealed on Tuesday (31 January), leaving the possibilty that Riseborough could have her nomination revoked.
Christina Ricci has condemned this, writing in an Instagram reply: “Seems hilarious that the ‘surprise nomination’ (meaning tons of money wasn’t spent to position this actress) of a legitimately brilliant performance is being met with an investigation.
“So it’s only the films and actors that can afford the campaigns that deserve recognition? Feels elitist and exclusive and frankly very backward to me.”
The Yellowjackets star questioned why Riseborough’s nomination “will be tainted by this” investigation, and claimed she had “nothing to do with the campaigning”.
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’s believed Riseborough called upon her Hollywood peers to spread the word.
Ricci finished her post by stating: “If it’s taken away, shame on them.”
Speaking about her nomination, Riseborough told Deadline: “I’m astounded. It’s such an unexpected ray of light. It was so hard to believe it might ever happen because we really hadn’t been in the running for anything else. Even though we had a lot of support, the idea it might actually happen seemed so far away.”
She added: “I’m not entirely sure how the f*** this happened.”
Following a brief theatrical release 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.
The film follows a single mother who, after winning the lottery, squanders the money and leaves behind “a world of heartbreak”. It’s 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 nomination stripped.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies