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AMPAS NEW RULES: Smack-Down in Music Branch Category for 87th Oscars

The Academy did not like the way the songs were campaigned for last year, specifically one song, Alone Yet Not Alone. They decided to change the rules, or enforce them, to disallow members to contact other members to campaign for their song submission.

The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has updated regulations for how companies and individuals may market movies and achievements eligible for the 87th Academy Awards® to Academy members. The most significant changes affect the Music category.

Music Branch members may not contact other Music Branch members to promote the nomination of their own song in any way, including via mail, email, telephone or social media. Additionally, Music Branch members may not attend any special live performances of eligible songs unless attached to a screening.

For the complete award campaign regulations, visit oscars.org/regulations.

The Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 22, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

If you’ll recall last year’s scandal involving Alone Yet Not Alone’s composer Bruce Broughton was a former member of the music branch on the board of governors. He lobbied fellow members via email. The song was chosen for a nomination but then disqualified for violating Academy rules. And the rest is Oscar history. I personally believe that a lot of lobbying goes on. Phone calls, parties, etc. You just can’t leave a paper trail.

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5 Comments

  1. June 25, 2014

    Music Branch members may not contact other Music Branch members to promote the nomination of their own song in any way, including via mail, email, telephone or social media.

    also, no midnight serenades. No holding a boom-box over your head outside the bedroom windows of music branch members. No sharing of earbuds between music branch members. No whistling. No humming. No winking. No fluttering your eyelashes suggestively at other music branch members.

  2. June 25, 2014

    I understand that they’re trying to respond to a particular scandal. And that their governance structure allows each branch to suggest their own rules. And that this isn’t the first time the music branch has been accused of making questionable choices.

    But if they’re worried about that type of campaigning, it seems a shame to ban it only in the music branch. Apparently actors, directors, costume designers, film editors and sound engineers can all be trusted to talk to each other — but not those musicians!

  3. Chriswpg
    June 25, 2014

    This song stuck out like a sore thumb with last years nominations and this category has had some questionable inclusions. So, let them start where the shit stinks the most! lol

  4. June 25, 2014

    The music branch has been governed by the strangest regulations for years now. I guess this is a small step toward reforming a branch which, frankly (and unfortunately), regularly embarrasses the Academy.

  5. keifer
    July 31, 2014

    The new ruling still couldn’t prevent something disastrous like “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” from winning a Best Song Oscar.

    I’ve never forgiven the Song Branch for not nominating Mary J. Blige’s beautifully rendered “The Living Proof” from the film “The Help”, and just ditto my feelings on that regarding Lana del Ray’s “Young and Beautiful” from “The Great Gatsby” last year. Two of the most memorable songs in film from the last decade . . . nary a nod. I just can’t figure out this branch’s tastes for the life of me.

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