'Alone Yet Not Alone' Supporters Taking Fight to the Academy
"Finally, a song from a small film barely seen, was deemed worthy of nomination. That is the way it should work. But alas, the winds of PC and cronyism seem to be at work here," says John Debney, an Academy member who scored "The Passion of the Christ."
Bruce Broughton and his supporters are fighting back hard against a decision by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences to rescind his best song Oscar nomination for Alone Yet Not Alone, a tiny Christian movie few people saw.
Broughton was disqualified for sending an email to about 70 Academy members asking them to give the song a listen. On Monday, Broughton called the Academy "stupid and hypocritical" for disqualifying his nomination on those grounds. Those remarks follow his decision this weekend to make public a letter he wrote to the Academy that lays out in detail what he finds hypocritical.
In the letter, he cites the Academy’s assertion that he violated their goal of "fair and ethical" competition, then asks: "[If] my 70 or so emails constitutes a breach of that standard, why could the current Academy president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, consult on Academy Award-nominated projects like The Artist, The King's Speech and others with a history as an Academy governor that far exceeds mine and at the same time produce the Governors' Ball without having that look like a breach of the same standard."
Supporters have also taken up other means for bashing the Academy and sticking up for Broughton and the song he co-wrote with Dennis Spiegel. The Hollywood Reporter has learned that a petition written by an Academy member and being circulated privately among other members says the rescinding of the nomination is "an usurpation of our rights as voters, and we demand that this nomination be reinstated." The petition also reads, in part: "Alone Yet Not Alone was eligible by all of AMPAS applicable rules and regulations. Any personal correspondence some of us may have received from the artists involved was miniscule in comparison to the deluge of email, print and recorded promotion that we received from every studio production for every possible nomination."
Gerald Molen, an Oscar-winning producer of Schindler's List, accused the Academy of discriminating against the religious movie in revoking its nomination, calling it "faith-based bigotry" in a letter to Isaacs.
Academy member John Debney, who wrote the score for The Passion of the Christ and dozens more movies, called the pulling of the nomination "a grave injustice." On his Facebook page, he wrote: "As a member of the Academy, I'm ashamed by this act. The nominations for work in film are meant to be merit based. Finally, a song from a small film barely seen, was deemed worthy of nomination. That is the way it should work. But alas, the winds of PC and cronyism seem to be at work here. Please join those of us who feel that great work should be judged on its own merits and express your outrage over this travesty."
Also using Facebook to express displeasure was Broughton's wife, Belinda, who wrote: "The poor huge production companies who had their noses put out of joint by a little song. All I can say is, they must have been terrified by the song and it's one damn good song too. Well, they are happy now, they can play together in the same sand box again. Shame on you Motion Picture Academy for taking the low road, saving your own butts and doing this to one of your former Governors and Head of the Music Branch."
Also, a petition "in support of Bruce Broughton and Dennis Spiegel" sprung up at iPetitions.com and it quickly exceeded its goal of 1,000 signatures. Another one at Change.org includes the music video for Alone Yet Not Alone, sung by quadriplegic Christian author and radio broadcaster Joni Eareckson Tada, and includes the phone number and email address of Teni Melidonian, an assistant to Boone Isaacs.