The dog from Anatomy Of A Fall reportedly caused some friction in the Academy

Messi
Messi
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In the words of an oft-shared Taylor Swift meme, “I’m so sick of running as fast as I can / wondering if I’d get there quicker if I was a man.” While the lyrics are often used to call out instances of sexism in the entertainment industry (rightfully or not), they’re perhaps even more apt for the sad situation of Anatomy Of A Fall’s Messi, who has reportedly courted a fair bit of jealousy from other members of the Academy who just don’t want to see a good boy win.

Yes, Messi is a dog; a seven-year-old border collie, to be exact. But the fact of his species doesn’t mean that he didn’t also deliver one of the best performances of the year in his debut role. Messi’s stirring turn as Snoop, one of the sole witnesses to his owner’s death in the Justine Triet-directed film, quickly garnered worldwide acclaim. He was awarded the prestigious Palm Dog award when the film premiered at Cannes in 2023, and was praised as “as much a part of the film’s ensemble as any of the other actors” by his director.

He also garnered the favor of a good portion of Hollywood’s elite, when he hammed it up and played dead for Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Billie Eilish, and more at the Oscar Nominees Luncheon last month. But according to The Hollywood Reporter, some members of the Academy—more specifically, “multiple companies with nominated films” (multiple!)—were none too pleased with the stunt and complained that the completely innocent dog’s attendance at the event gave Anatomy Of A Fall an unfair boost during the voting window. To which we say: where is your humanity, people? Isn’t it enough that he wasn’t nominated in the first place?

Whether the decision was made out of retaliation or Messi’s owner, Laura Martin, just didn’t want to buy another ticket all the way from France, THR also broke the sad news that Messi will not be in attendance at this year’s Oscar ceremony on Sunday, despite his rising star. (It’s not just because he’s a dog; Parson Russell Terrier Uggie celebrated onstage with his co-stars when The Artistwon Best Picture in 2012.)

Martin, at least, doesn’t seem too torn up about it. “What we’ve been experiencing here in America—with the attention to this dog and his acting—it’s beyond anything we anticipated,” she said. “It’s probably the maximum that you can accomplish in this field.” Still, we’ll need an official statement from Messi himself before we can really forgive and forget on this one.