In a move thought to be unprecedented in the history of the Academy Awards, both the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided to disqualify a nominee prior to the Oscars ceremony itself.
That nominee? The little-heard song "Alone Yet Not Alone" from the barely seen indie faith-based feature of the same name. The song will not appear on Oscar ballots when the final round of voting begins on February 14th.
Allegations of unfairness have been levied against the nominee. Bruce Broughton, who wrote the nominated song, is a former governor and current music branch executive committee member. He is said to have emailed over 230 members of the branch to make them aware of his submission during the nominations voting period.
Had he not emailed them it's likely the song would never have drawn enough attention to get a nomination, but because he did its nomination has now been rescinded.
In a statement, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs says: "No matter how well-intentioned the communication, using one’s position as a former governor and current executive committee member to personally promote one’s own Oscar submission creates the appearance of an unfair advantage... it is the Academy’s goal to ensure that the Awards competition is conducted in a fair and ethical manner."
The category will not include any replacement nominees and will now consist of just four songs - Pharrell Williams' "Happy" from "Despicable Me 2," U2's "Ordinary Love" from "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," Karen O's "The Moon Song" from "Her," and the current favorite - "Let it Go" from the Disney animated feature "Frozen".