Though specific tactics were not mentioned by name, they were easy to spot: as award season came to a crescendo, celebrities started sharing enthusiastic, similar statements of support for Andrea Riseborough, and an Instagram post from the film’s official account named a competing actress, which is apparently a big no-no according to the Academy’s campaign guidelines. It’s a debate that goes much deeper than the power of a grassroots campaign, though.
On the one hand, the Academy’s singling-out of Riseborough exposes how hypocritical its guidelines against aggressive campaigning are, as it’s very obvious that studios pour money into campaigns for their stars all the time. On the other, Riseborough’s nomination once again exposed the Academy’s long history of failing to recognize Black women, as category frontrunners like Viola Davis (“The Woman King”) and Danielle Deadwyler (“Till”) were pushed out of the running while Riseborough landed a nod.
The Academy’s Board of Governors reportedly meets annually after the Oscars to discuss potential changes to their rules and regulations, and it sounds like this could be a year that sees some change. “Given this review, it is apparent that components of the regulations must be clarified to help create a better framework for respectful, inclusive, and unbiased campaigning,” Kramer said. “These changes will be made after this awards cycle and will be shared with our membership.” While they’re closing loopholes, hopefully, the Academy can take a hard look at a system that might benefit some artists while leaving others out in the cold. Kramer promises that the Academy ” strives to create an environment where votes are based solely on the artistic and technical merits of the eligible films and achievements.”
The Oscars telecast will take place on March 12, 2023.