AMPAS: Andrea Riseborough keeps her Oscar nom, but her campaign is under review

As I said, it looks like Puck’s Matthew Bellami was right all along about Andrea Riseborough’s Oscar nomination and the broken rules regarding the campaign orchestrated on Riseborough’s behalf. Rules were broken and AMPAS will review and change some of the Oscar campaigning rules, but Riseborough gets to keep her nomination, and there’s no evidence that she did anything wrong. This was always about people working on her behalf, namely Mary McCormack, the wife of To Leslie’s director. McCormack was email-blasting and doing way too much to help her husband’s film.

Andrea Riseborough’s Oscar nomination for independent drama “To Leslie” will not be rescinded, but the use of social media in a grassroots campaign supporting her did not sit well with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

After the film academy announced it would be “conducting a review of campaign procedures” in the wake of Riseborough’s shock best actress nomination, the body’s board of governors deliberated at a previously scheduled meeting on Tuesday.

“Based on concerns that surfaced last week around the ‘To Leslie’ awards campaign, the Academy began a review into the film’s campaigning tactics. The Academy has determined the activity in question does not rise to the level that the film’s nomination should be rescinded.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,” Academy CEO Bill Kramer said in a statement.

“The purpose of the Academy’s campaign regulations is to ensure a fair and ethical awards process — these are core values of the Academy. Given this review, it is apparent that components of the regulations must be clarified to help create a better framework for respectful, inclusive and unbiased campaigning. 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,” he concluded.

[From Variety]

Would AMPAS have made a harsher statement if they found that Riseborough herself was part of the aggressive campaigning? Perhaps. But Andrea was well-insulated, and most of the Actor Branch voters who nominated her hadn’t even met her at all of these Oscar screenings or parties. I will say this though – I think AMPAS is kind of wrong to focus solely on the social media stuff – while that was aggressive and obvious, it seemed like the behind-the-scenes moves were pretty bad. The aggressive emails and calls, the endless requests to host Oscar screenings and events, the work done by McCormack and the professional Oscar-campaign people she hired.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, ‘To Leslie’ still.

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34 Responses to “AMPAS: Andrea Riseborough keeps her Oscar nom, but her campaign is under review”

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  1. Mvptp says:

    I agree that the campaign was bad, but I honestly think she was more deserving of a nomination than Ana de Armas!! That movie was gross, and she was awful in it

    • Tanguerita says:

      “Blonde” was horrible, but de armas’s nomination didn’t come as a surprise – she was nominated for literally every award before: globes, sag, bafta and so on. Everyone knew she would end up on the list. Riseborough and Williams however…

  2. Inge says:

    Viola Davis should have been nominated for The Woman King yet this rich woman and her personal campaign got nominated instead.

    • Jill says:

      Totally agree with that statement. I predict Michelle Yeoh will finally win hers though.

    • Hopey says:

      Say it louder for the people in the back.

    • Veronica S. says:

      I mean, Viola Davis is wealthy, too, if not actually wealthier based on net worth. The issue here is networking and access, the kind of which minorities are often locked out. At the top, it’s still an exclusive club that minorities have to work twice as hard at to move upwards through. That’s where prejudices becomes more obvious – when you even the playing field in other ways (financial, prestige, etc.) and still find a way to lock them out of the process.

  3. JessicA says:

    The Woman King was just not a good movie. And Blonde…was terrible. I can’t believe Ana got a nom.

    Andrea was actually incredible in this movie. The campaign was obviously sleazy and gives off Emily in Paris vibes, but if I was a voting member of the academy or however they do it, I would have voted for her. And def not for Ana so that is the nom I would have questioned more.

    • Tanguerita says:

      she was all right, even though I found Maron much better, more subtle und understated, but the movie itself is a slightly elevated hallmark crap with a crudely drawn redeeming arc. Neither she nor de Armas deserved a nomination, but here we are. White people who can’t bear seeing black women dominating the category.

    • SandrineC says:

      -I agree with you that Ana didn’t deserve a nomination not only for that disgusting and horrible movie but also when she was promoting it and telling us the stupidest things ever like she sensed Marylin was on set and approving or they wrote a letter to Marylin and put it on her grave…don’t let me started with her horrible director and what he said about Marylin who he clearly hated… but she is beautiful,latina and backed by Brad Pitt and Oscar’s ppl love a biopic and one about on e of the most recognizable celebrity on earth,even in death.. and she was also nominated at the Gg,Sag ,Bafta so it was expected that she would be nominated at the Oscars.I was not all that surprised,unfortunately…
      -The one nomination that puzzles me is Michelle Williams:she is in 25 min in a 2hrs film? Why isn’t she in the « supporting » category?is it because of Spielberg’s influence?
      -I don’t like Tar and I am not in awe of Cate Blanchett performance in this movie but what do I know?! It’s too pretentious for me…
      -Andrea Risoberough is a great actress but this movie is nothing special. She was spectacular in ‘Baby please baby’ and I liked her in Matilda .
      What I don’t like about her nomination and I don’t want it to be rescinded :
      -her campaign was not grassroots at all. There was a lot of PR involved and influence.
      -her PR decided to use two black women and say that they were a lock when they were not… why did they decide to do that? Why didn’t they say that that Cate and Michelle were a lock,which we know they always are?
      Viola is a powerhouse(who can’t even be nominated) but Danielle…? Will she have opportunities like Andrea? Certainly not…
      I want to say that it’s not important but we already know that POC have hard time to get movies about us, to tell also our stories who humanizes us so these nominations help…
      I am disappointed but not surprised…

    • Coco says:

      The Woman King Was amazing and so was Viola Davis in it. If Andrea Was such a incredible they wouldn’t need to cheat to get her nominated know should they.

    • CouldChangeTomorrow says:

      Sorry but the Woman King was a very good movie and well-directed. Viola gave yet another excellent performance. My son who reluctantly saw the movie with the family loved it and lamented the lack of a Lashana Lynch nomination. It isn’t the typical oscar bait of a person in the dumps(alcoholic, drug addict/dealer, sex addict) and miracle redemption.

      • dj says:

        Lashana Lynch deserved best supporting nomination in the Woman King. I don’t know how that movie did not get more support. Viola Davis definitely deserved the nomination. As did Danielle Deadwyler. POC definitely don’t have the same kind of networking built up yet with the Academy voters. I wish they would add Viola and Danielle to the category this year due to the “cheating” scandal and go back to the same number of candidates next year. Honestly, I am tired of movies being made about crap I don’t care about. To Leslie I personally am not spending my weekend movie money on that feel good movie. Tar not remotely interested in subject matter. Woman King I’m interested in that story. Till I will see too. Let’s start making movies about stories we haven’t seen yet.

  4. tolly says:

    This is exactly how it’s done though, right? The nominee keeps their hands clean and pretends to know nothing about about the frantic campaigning behind the curtain. Darren Aronofsky lied loudly and often about how much dancing Natalie Portman did in Black Swan, but she never said anything so it didn’t blow back on her when the real dancer went public. Harvey Weinstein did this kind of campaigning for dozens of nominees, all of whom feigned ignorance about his tactics. The only nominees who get in serious trouble are the ones who reach out to voters themselves.

    • Concern Fae says:

      Darren Aranofsky didn’t lie. He used the normal terms and percentages films use when talking about when a stuntwoman is swapped in for an actor. The dancer involved used a different metric – what percentage of closeups.

      Also, you will notice that every Oscar season, there are a rash of articles trashing the historical accuracy or use of doubles or something wrong with a film that is getting Oscar buzz. These are very often placed by the teams behind other films in contention. It may not even be open. Just listening for gossip about the other films and pointing entertainment journalists in the direction of a good story. Or if you’re clever, having a friend do it.

      Also, if an actor says it was all them in a film and a stunt performer says Nope. I generally assume the director lied to the actor.

      • tolly says:

        One of the DVD extras shows the CGI guys putting Portman’s head on the other dancer’s body for closeups. That’s what got Aronofsky some heat.

  5. FHMom says:

    The thing is, in any given year there may be a number of performances worthy of a nomination. So why not expand or make fluid the number of nominees? Say anywhere from 5 to 8 actors may be nominated. If I had given a great performance and was expecting the recognition of a nomination and then someone else came from out of left field to “steal” the nomination, it would seem unfair.

  6. Kate says:

    I can’t say I envy her. This will follow her forever and it’s going to be humiliating for her if she attends the ceremony.

    • tealily says:

      I know. There’s no way they will give her the Oscar. It’s like the whole film will be tainted. I do feel for her. This saga is the first time I’ve ever heard her name.

  7. TheOriginalMia says:

    All this for her and this film to lose and now be tainted by this campaign.

  8. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Telling people not to vote for the two Black women? Are we just gonna pretend that isn’t a key part of how disgusting this producer and campaign were? And we’re just gonna let her get away with that? Now THAT’S a real SLAP IN THE FACE.

    • FHMom says:

      I agree with this. Sleazy doesnt even begin to describe it.

    • SandrineC says:

      Yup,that infuriates me the most!!why did they target two black women? One of whom,Danielle, is just starting at 40 to gain some recognition . Why didn’t they say Michelle or Cate were a lock? To me,it’s just plain racism.

      • Coco says:

        @ SandrineC

        So true and Michelle and Cate were the only two that had a 100% guarantee to get nominated they were the two front runners, Andrea’s Campaign was completely racist.

    • TheOriginalMia says:

      Yeah, they’ll gloss over the fact McCormack targeted 2 black actresses and not Cate or Michele.

    • tealily says:

      Yup. I mean, why target ANYONE specifically? It was so unnecessary and leaves a really bad taste in my mouth.

  9. tolly says:

    Point of order: Will Smith will definitely not be presenting the Best Actress statuette. Does the Academy try to draft another Black actor into this thankless task? Maybe Jerrod Carmichael can stand up there and say, “Guess how much they paid me for THIS job?”

    • tealily says:

      I bet he will be doing it.

      • AppleCart says:

        He can’t attend, part of his punishement was he is banned from all Oscar events for 10 years. Unless the board did a reversal. They were clear this included the Academy Awards.

        “The Board has decided, for a period of 10 years from April 8, 2022, Mr. Smith shall not be permitted to attend any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Academy Awards,” Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement}”.

      • tealily says:

        I hadn’t actually heard that, thanks.

  10. AppleCart says:

    In the 95 years of the Oscars Halle Berry still stands as the only person of color to win Best Actress in 2001. And that was over 20 years ago now. Every other winner before and since has been a white woman.

    And this year looks like it will be no different.

    • CK3 says:

      I’m hoping that Michelle Yeoh will pick up those rooting for Davis, Deadwyler, and those generally turned off by the Riseborough business of which Cate publicly made herself a part of.

  11. Kim Terry says:

    This just feels like a big mean girls clique move. I hope Michelle Yeoh wipes the floor with them

  12. Bisou says:

    I generally don’t like the movies nominated by these awards and I tend to mock them… but these awards seem to be super important for the actors. It’s clear there is absolutely nothing organic about the votes and at least half of these voters don’t see these movies…and they always vote for 2-3 same people.The part that sickens me is the racism towards Danielle and Viola.