Academy Bans Blogger from Oscars After Spoilers Published
The Motion Picture Academy has banished a writer for the controversial blog Deadline.com from the Oscars ceremony in response to a series of posts revealing details about the upcoming show.
Michael Fleming, a New York-based film blogger, has had his press credential revoked after his boss, Deadline.com editor Nikki Finke, published a series of Oscar "spoilers," including a full rundown revealing everything planned for the Feb. 27 telecast. The spoilers, which were initially published along with derogatory statements suggesting the telecast would be boring (though the derogatory language was later deleted), prompted the Academy to take action against the website.
Academy spokesperson Leslie Unger declined to comment on the ousting but sources confirm to The Hollywood Reporter that Fleming's backstage press credential has been revoked as punishment for the breaches of secrecy surrounding the show. The spoilers prompted a backlash of sorts on Twitter, where commenters questioned Finke's rationale for revealing the schedule and called her actions unethical.
Finke wrote on her MMC-owned blog that she had lodged a formal complaint with Unger.
When asked about the leaks at Saturday's Spirit Awards, Oscar host James Franco told THR, "Oh well! It's just a monologue." Admitting he had not heard about it yet, Franco concluded, "I guess I'll hear the fallout when I get over there (Oscar rehearsal)!"
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Scott Feinberg, the lead awards analyst for The Hollywood Reporter, is one of the entertainment industry's most experienced and trusted experts about the Oscars, Emmys and Tonys. He started on the awards beat in 2001, writing for independent websites including his own ScottFeinberg.com before joining the Los Angeles Times and then THR, for which he writes “The Race” blog, which won the LA Press Club’s National Entertainment Journalism Award for best entertainment blog of 2012-2013. A voting member of both the Broadcast Film Critics' Association and Broadcast Television Journalists Association, he is also writing a book about film history for young people for which he has interviewed more than 500 high-profile Hollywood figures whose careers span the silent era through the present.
Follow Scott on Twitter at twitter.com/scottfeinberg.