The Academy responds to ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’-gate with new campaign regulations

Ah, remember “Alone Yet Not Alone?” For a couple of weeks at the wintery height of awards season, it was the gift that kept giving for Oscar scandal-mongers — the head-scratching surprise of its nomination in the first place, the uncovering of its dodgy campaign tactics, the shame of its eventual disqualification. And five month later, most people have forgotten the film (which was formally released only last week) ever even existed. Oscar season: it chews you up and spits you out, but rarely quite so humiliatingly. 

Still, “Alone Yet Not Alone” did not die in vain, since its impact is clearly felt in the official campaign regulations for the upcoming Academy Awards, which were officially announced today. And while many of them are longstanding and largely down to common sense, a couple of clauses specific to the Music Branch are transparently pointed. Most notable among them:

Music Branch members may not contact other Music Branch members to promote the nomination of their own song in any way, including via mail, email, telephone or social media account.

They've done everything but add “THAT MEANS YOU, BRUCE BROUGHTON” in brackets at the end, but the clarification is welcome. Also stated is that “Music Branch members may not attend any special live performances of eligible songs unless attached to a screening,” which feels like a new restriction, but I can't say for sure. At any rate, the clarification is welcome; what Broughton did was out of line, but we really don't want too many DQs littering the Oscar archives. (Would the handwritten letters written by Diane Ladd by acting branch members in aids of her 1990 nomination for “Wild at Heart” be deemed beyond this pale in this day and age?)

Feel free to peruse the remain regulations at your leisure — reading them all makes my head spin a bit, but you wouldn't want to launch a campaign this year without a thorough going-over.