One of the more surprising nominations at this year’s Oscars was the nomination for best song for “Alone Yet Not Alone.” Unfortunately, it looks like that same nomination has been taken away.
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced on Tuesday that the song from the movie of the same name had been withdrawn, citing improper actions by on of the songwriters. Bruce Broughton, a former governor and current member on the executive committee of the academy’s music branch, penned the song. The members of the music committee vote for a winner for the song nominations
According to the board of governors of the Motion Picture Academy, Broughton emailed members of the 239-member committee during the voting period, urging them to listen to the nominated song “Alone Yet Not Alone.”
“No matter how well-intentioned the communication, using one’s position as a former governor and current executive committee member to personally promote ones own Oscar submission created the appearance of an unfair advantage,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. She also stated that Broughton’s action violated the bylaw that campaigning must be conducted “in a fair and ethical manner.”
This is the first time a nomination has been disqualified for improper campaigning. Only four other nominees have had their nominations take away in the 86-year-old Oscars ceremony. Nominations being withdrawn are usually due to technical reasons dealing with eligibility.
“Alone Yet Not Alone” was a surprising nomination due to the small amount of press that the film received this year. The song was made for an independent movie dealing with 18th century colonists, and was only released in 11 theaters.
Broughton said in a statement to The Hollywood reporter: “I’m devastated. I indulged in the simplest grassroots campaign and it went against me when the song started getting attention. I simply asked people to find the song and consider it.”
Broughton was also nominated for Best Original Score 28 years ago for the film Silverado. Around 70 other songs made this year’s best original song Oscar shortlist, and their composers expressed frustration that another song was not replacing the disqualified song.