Now, the latest controversy, or blunder, is that supposedly the Hurt Locker producer instructed voters to put Hurt Locker at number 1 and Avatar at number 10. This is, I think, in direct response to a piece of news that floated around last week that Avatar supporters within the Academy (not the producers behind Avatar, or the publicity team behind Avatar, but the fans who also happen to be either friends of Cameron’s, fans of the film, or worked on the movie) that they were saying people should put Avatar as number 1 and Hurt Locker at number 10. I find this all very circular and bizarre. I don’t think Chartier would have acted out had that bit of news not been floated, so I feel sort of ickily partly responsible for posting it in the first place. Next time, I am going to let a rumor stay a rumor. I am hoping that nobody reads my blog and therefore Chartier himself did not take his instruction from me. I hope he was just fumbling and being stupid on his own….
With the system of preferential voting in place this year for best picture, each voter must rank their choices No. 1 through No. 10 in order of preference. In an e-mail we obtained, Chartier named “Avatar” four times, saying “Hurt Locker” needs to be ranked No. 1 and “Avatar” No. 10 instead of putting it at No. 2 even if the voter thought it should be. Instead, Chartier suggests that the voter put “Precious” or “An Education” (or another film)¬†higher up. He went on to explain his thinking that by putting “Avatar” at No. 2, it actually still has a big chance to win with the preferential voting system.¬†At one point he says “we” need the help to beat “Avatar.”