Oscars 'conducting review' of campaign tactics after Andrea Riseborough's surprise nomination
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is reviewing the campaigning efforts of the 2023 Oscar nominees following rampant speculation that lobbying rules were violated in the case of one unexpected nominee.
Since the nominations were announced on Tuesday, the internet has been abuzz over Andrea Riseborough's surprise nod for Best Actress for her starring turn in To Leslie. She's joined in the category by widely anticipated nominees Cate Blanchett (Tár), Ana de Armas (Blonde), Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans), and Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once).
Riseborough's performance in the film, a low-budget indie that premiered at SXSW in March 2022, has received greater recognition recently thanks to an aggressive grassroots campaign conducted by A-listers such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Charlize Theron, and Ed Norton, who have encouraged voters to consider the British actress.
When Riseborough scored a nomination — and two long-favored contenders who are both Black, Viola Davis (The Woman King) and Danielle Deadwyler (Till), were snubbed — longstanding frustrations over diversity collided with concerns over whether that grassroots campaign adhered to the Academy's strict rules regarding lobbying.
Everett Collection Andrea Riseborough in 'To Leslie'
On Friday, the Academy announced plans to review the campaigning efforts of all nominees.
"It is the Academy's goal to ensure that the Awards competition is conducted in a fair and ethical manner, and we are committed to ensuring an inclusive awards process," AMPAS said in a statement. "We are conducting a review of the campaign procedures around this year's nominees to ensure that no guidelines are violated, and to inform us whether changes to the guidelines may be needed in a new era of social media and digital communication. We have confidence in the integrity of our nomination and voting procedures, and support genuine grassroots campaigns for outstanding performances."
In the past, the Academy has not shied away from rescinding nominations when campaigning rules were broken. In 2014, they revoked composer Bruce Broughton's nomination for Best Original Song for "Alone Yet Not Alone" when he was found to have "improperly lobbied" a substantial number of members of the music branch via email. "I indulged in the simplest grassroots campaign, and it went against me when the song started getting attention," Broughton told The Hollywood Reporter at the time.
Reacting to her nomination and the groundswell of support she's recently received, Riseborough told Deadline she's "not entirely sure how the f--- this 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," Riseborough added. "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, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will be held March 12 and televised live on ABC.