Sound Nominee Disqualified

For the second time in four years, a violation of the Academy’s campaign rules regarding telephone lobbying. This time, they did not disqualify the entire entry, 13 Hours, they simply removed Greg P. Russell’s name from the nomination itself. Presumably, the waited to announce this decision until after voting was over to prevent voters from picking the film in protest. Here’s the press release about it.

ACADEMY RESCINDS SOUND MIXING NOMINATION FOR GREG P. RUSSELL ON “13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI”

LOS ANGELES, CA – Upon recommendation by the Sound Branch Executive Committee, the Academy’s Board of Governors voted Thursday (2/23) to rescind the Sound Mixing nomination for Greg P. Russell from “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” for violation of Academy campaign regulations. The decision was prompted by the discovery that Russell had called his fellow members of the Sound Branch during the nominations phase to make them aware of his work on the film, in direct violation of a campaign regulation that prohibits telephone lobbying. An additional nominee for “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” will not be named in his place. The remaining Sound Mixing nominees for the film are Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Mac Ruth.

“The Board of Governors’ decision to rescind Mr. Russell’s nomination was made after careful consideration,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “The Academy takes very seriously the Oscars voting process and anything – no matter how well-intentioned – that may undermine the integrity of that process.”

The Board determined that Russell’s actions violated a campaign regulation that unequivocally prohibits telephone lobbying. It states that “contacting Academy members by telephone to promote a film or achievement is expressly forbidden, even if such contact is in the guise of checking to make sure a screener or other mailing was received.”

The members from each of the Academy’s branches vote to determine the nominees in their respective categories – actors nominate actors, film editors nominate film editors, musicians, composers and lyricists vote the nominations for song and score.

During the nominations process, all 456 voting members of the Sound Branch received a reminder list of film titles eligible in the Sound Mixing category in order to vote.

The nominees for Sound Mixing are:

ARRIVAL
Bernard Gariépy Strobl and Claude La Haye

HACKSAW RIDGE
Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace

LA LA LAND
Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee and Steve A. Morrow

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY
David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson

13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI
Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Mac Ruth

The 89th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

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  1. There’s some kind of irony that Russell and Kevin O’Connell were long time mixing collaborators and the same year that Russell gets disqualified is the year that O’Connell finally wins.

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