Oscars Spare Andrea Riseborough Amid Damning Campaign Review

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has completed its unusual “review” of campaigning procedures following last week’s Oscar nominations and concluded that there is insufficient evidence to rescind the Best Actress nod for Andrea Riseborough.

“Based on concerns that surfaced last week around the To Leslie awards campaign, the Academy began a review into the film’s campaigning tactics,” Academy CEO Bill Kramer wrote in his letter to members. “The Academy has determined the activity in question does not rise to the level that the film’s nomination should be rescinded. However, we did discover social media and outreach campaigning tactics that caused concern. These tactics are being addressed with the responsible parties directly.”

Kramer went on to say that in order to “ensure a fair and ethical awards process,” it is “apparent that components of the regulations must be clarified to help create a better framework for respectful, inclusive, and unbiased campaigning.” He added, “These changes will be made after this awards cycle and will be shared with our membership. The Academy strives to create an environment where votes are based solely on the artistic and technical merits of the eligible films and achievements.”

It was notable that Kramer called out the To Leslie campaign by name in his letter, given that the film and Riseborough were not specifically mentioned when the group first announced it was conducting a review last week. The group did not indicate whether any disciplinary action would be taken against those “responsible parties” who skirted the Academy’s rules on directly lobbying members.

Riseborough beat out actresses in higher profile films to become one of the five women nominated for Best Actress following an aggressive social media campaign that included effusive praise from big-name stars like Gwyneth Paltrow and Edward Norton.

On Monday, Riseborough’s To Leslie co-star Marc Maron used his biweekly WTF podcast to go after the Academy for seemingly delegitimizing her nomination. “Apparently, the Academy of Motion Picture Sciences or whatever the fuck it is has decided to investigate Andrea Riseborough’s grassroots campaign to get her the Oscar nomination,” he told listeners. “Because I guess it so threatens their system that they’re completely bought out by corporate interests in the form of studios.”

Predicting that “nothing” would come of the inquiry, Maron added, “It was in earnest, the campaign, and it is not undeserving. But I’m glad the Academy, at the behest of special interest and corporate interest and paranoia about how they look, are doing an investigation. Who gives a fuck!”

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