Marc Maron, Christina Ricci, and more slam Oscars' campaign review after Andrea Riseborough's nom
Marc Maron and other stars are slamming the Academy's decision to conduct a review of the campaign tactics behind this year's Oscar nominees following the surprise nomination of his To Leslie costar Andrea Riseborough.
The actor and podcast host, who, in To Leslie, plays a motel owner who helps Riseborough's alcoholic character get her life back on track, defended the grassroots campaign behind her nomination as "earnest" on Monday's episode of his WTF with Marc Maron podcast.
"Apparently, the Academy of Motion Picture Sciences, or whatever the f--- it is, has decided to investigate Andrea Riseborough's grassroots campaign to get her the Oscar nomination," Maron said. "Because I guess it so threatens their system that they're completely bought out by corporate interests in the form of studios."
He continued, "Millions of dollars [are] put into months of advertising campaigns, publicity, screenings by large corporate entertainment entities, and Andrea was championed by her peers through a grassroots campaign, which was pushed through by a few actors. The Academy is [like], 'Well, we gotta take a look at this. This is not the way it's supposed to work. Independent artists don't deserve the attention of the Academy unless we see how it works exactly. So, we're going to look into this.'"
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic; Everett Collection Marc Maron; Andrea Riseborough in 'To Leslie'
Maron contended that nothing would come out of the review and that he expects Riseborough to keep her nomination. "It was in earnest, the campaign, and it is not undeserving," he said. "But I'm glad the Academy — at the behest of special interest and corporate interest and paranoia about how they look — are doing an investigation. Who gives a f---?"
Riseborough earned a Best Actress nod for the low-budget indie that, in the late stages of nominations jockeying, gained greater recognition through the efforts of A-list celebrities, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, and Edward Norton. She made the cut over two highly favored Black contenders, Viola Davis (The Woman King) and Danielle Deadwyler (Till), an outcome that reignited longstanding frustrations over diversity and sparked concerns over whether the campaign adhered to the Academy's strict lobbying rules.
Without citing the film or Riseborough specifically, the Academy announced plans to review the campaigning efforts of all nominees last week, though it remains unclear which rules had potentially been broken. Regardless, the Academy is no stranger to rescinding nominations, having revoked composer Bruce Broughton's nomination for Best Original Song for "Alone Yet Not Alone" in 2014 after he was found to have "improperly lobbied" members of the music branch via email.
Everett Collection Andrea Riseborough in 'To Leslie'
Over the weekend, actress Christina Ricci also slammed the Academy's review as "elitist" and voiced support for Riseborough. "Seems hilarious that the 'surprise nomination' (meaning tons of money wasn't spent to position this actress) of a legitimately brilliant performance is being met with an investigation," Ricci wrote in a now-deleted Instagram comment captured by Deadline. "So it's only the films and actors that can afford the campaigns that deserve recognition?"
"Feels elitist and exclusive and frankly very backward to me," she added.
Director Rod Lurie also rallied behind Riseborough and called the debacle "idiotic" and "insulting." The director wrote on Facebook, "The fact that this actor and performance got attention via grassroots is, to me, both fair and touching. I would even say that it is a more honest way to get attention than through countless parties and buffets that the larger films can and do offer (which I LOVE and do appreciate)."
Riseborough, for her part, previously told Deadline that she was "not entirely sure how the f---" her nomination happened. "Every year, for some reason, there are spotlights shining brighter in some places than in others, and maybe it is just all to do with money, though I try not to be cynical in that way," she said. "It has been special to feel so supported by the community — especially by actors — and to feel like the work has broken through that. It's really not something I've ever experienced before."
The 95th Academy Awards will air Sunday, March 12, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC.