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‘The Hurt Locker’ Producer Banned From Attending Academy Awards After Sending Controversial Email

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In the week leading up to the Oscars telecast, news outlets unleash the floodgates of coverage, speculation and hearsay over what will win, what won’t and what the stars are wearing. Naturally, with the 82nd annual Academy Awards airing this Sunday, there’s been lots of press devoted to what will win Best Picture (Hurt Locker or Avatar) and other pressing hot button issues. The biggest item surrounds Hurt Locker producer Nicolas Chartier (seen above, second from right) and his inappropriate mass email message to industry insiders. His actions have overshadowed all the usual coverage. In other words, it’s actually a semi-interesting thing to talk about.

In his email, Chartier urged Academy members to vote for The Hurt Locker for Best Picture, saying that the indie deserves to win. Unbeknownst to him, while the Academy allows all sorts of campaigning for the awards, it is illegal to refer negatively to the other nominated films. Academy members deemed Chartier’s message as a violation of the rules as, in the excerpt below, he is clearing referencing Avatar:

If everyone tells one or two of their friends, we will win and not a $500M film, we need independent movies to win like the movies you and I do, so if you believe The Hurt Locker is the best movie of 2010 [sic], help us!

Despite an apology by Chartier, the Academy ruled that the beleaguered producer would not be allowed to accept the award or attend the ceremony. However, after a last minute lobby from the film’s director Katheryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal, the Academy rescinded the original punishment. Chartier will be able to receive the award should The Hurt Locker win, but he’s still not able able to attend the ceremony. A spokesperson for the Academy released this statement:

The executive committee of the Academy’s Producers Branch, at a special session late Monday, ruled that the ethical lapse merited the revocation of Chartier’s invitation to the Awards.

If only politicians experienced this kind of repercussion due to negative campaigning. Chartier will have to find a good bar to watch the show in. If he wins, I’m sure he’ll get a free shot of Jameson.

[WENN]

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