British actress Andrea Riseborough will not be stripped of her Oscar nomination
Watch: Actress Andrea Riseborough will keep her Oscar nomination
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has ruled that Andrea Riseborough will remain in the running for an Oscar, following an investigation into the legitimacy of the nomination of the star of indie drama To Leslie.
A star-studded grassroots campaign for Riseborough had prompted scepticism from some Academy voters and caused a stir in Hollywood. Then on Friday, the academy announced that it would examine whether any rules were broken.
Shortly ahead of nominations, Riseborough was propelled into the race after a host of celebrities hosted screenings of To Leslie and numerous A-listers promoted her on social media.
After appeals from To Leslie director Michael Morris and his wife, actor Mary McCormack, Kate Winslet, Charlize Theron, Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Amy Adams and Courteney Cox all hosted screenings of the film.
Winslet had called Riseborough’s work “the greatest female performance I have ever seen in my life” and Jane Fonda had said she was “bowled over” by the acting.
Released in a handful of cinemas last October, the film failed to find any kind of audience, amassing a grand total of $23,304 at the US box office before being unceremoniously shunted to streaming. (It’s available in the UK to rent on Amazon Prime.)
"The Academy has determined the activity in question does not rise to the level that the film's nomination should be rescinded," Bill Kramer, academy chief executive, said in a statement. "However, we did discover social media and outreach campaigning tactics that caused concern. These tactics are being addressed with the responsible parties directly."
The Academy has rescinded nominations for campaigning that broke regulations before. Celebrity-hosted screenings are a regular feature of Oscar season, but how voters are contacted during the Oscar voting period is regulated. On Tuesday, the academy suggested Riseborough's unorthodox campaign may necessitate tweaks to the bylaws.
"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," Mr Kramer said.
"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."
Critics of Riseborough's campaign said it showed how a deep Rolodex could give a potential nominee a leg up. Notably left out of best actress contention were Viola Davis (Woman King) and Danielle Deadwyler (Till).
Along with Riseborough, the nominees for best actress are: Cate Blachett (Tar), Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans), Ana de Armas (Blonde) and Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once).