Sound mixer Greg P. Russell had his Oscar nomination for 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi dramatically stripped away on Saturday, one day before the Oscars, by the Academy Board of Governors.
It had been Russell’s 17th Academy Award nomination; he has never won before.
The decision to rescind the nomination was prompted by the discovery that Russell had called his fellow members of the Academy’s 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,” according to an Academy statement.
“The Board of Governors’ decision to rescind Mr. Russell’s nomination was made after careful consideration,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs in a statement. “The Academy takes very seriously the Oscars voting process and anything — no matter how well-intentioned — that may undermine the integrity of that process.”
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The Academy board of governors determined that Russell’s actions “violated a campaign regulation that unequivocally prohibits telephone lobbying,” according to the release. This regulation 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 three other members of the 13 Hours sound-mixing team remain eligible for the award. They are Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Mac Ruth.
Paramount Studios, which released the Michael Bay-directed 13 Hours, put out a statement Saturday in response to the rescinded nomination.
“We are proud of the outstanding work done by Greg, Gary, Jeffrey and Mac on 13 Hours and we celebrate their achievement,” the statement read.
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