Academy President Defends Disqualifying 'Alone Yet Not Alone' Song Nomination

Scott Feinber

Responding to critics who have accused the Academy of rescinding its nomination for the song "Alone Yet Not Alone" because it comes from a faith-based film, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said, "This is not about the film. This is about the voting process in one category. That's all there is. We are adamant about keeping the integrity of our voting process."

On Jan. 29, the Academy announced that it was rescinding the nomination of the song, by composer Bruce Broughton and lyricist Dennis Spiegel, because Broughton, a former representative of the music branch on the Academy's board of governors, lobbied fellow music branch members via email during the voting period, a violation of the Academy's campaign regulations.

After the Academy issued a more detailed statement today further explaining its position, Isaacs said the move was necessary to maintain a level playing field among potential nominees and, in an interview with with The Hollywood Reporter, she also explained why a replacement nominee was not named.

"This was about the appearance of undue influence," Isaacs said. "A former governor and member of the executive committee of the music branch made a specific request for voting members in that branch to look up, view and hear the song he wrote." That, she said, is a violation of Rule 5.3 governing Oscar campaigning for the best original song Oscar: When members are asked to consider the qualifying songs, the songs are identified by title and film but not by the names of their respective composers and lyricists. "The Academy gives out an official reminder list to the music branch -- an original song reminder list -- and on that list is only [listed] a film title and a song title, specifically so that there are no names for the composer or the lyricist,' isaacs said. Broughton, in his emails to at least 70 of the branch's 240 members, directed them to the song, identifying it by its number on the list.

Earlier: 'Alone Yet Not Alone' Song Nomination Riles Up Oscar Contenders