“To Leslie” star Andrea Riseborough still has a slot in the Best Actress race.
However, after the actress’ surprise nomination last week raised questions about the campaign tactics involved, changes are on the way. Today, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released a statement following its annual post-nominations meeting with the Board of Governors, addressing the situation and the decision to let Riseborough’s nomination stand. Kramer also said that the Academy would be updating its campaign rules in the coming weeks.
Academy CEO Bill Kramer said that after a review of the “To Leslie” campaign’s tactics that were called into question, the Academy “has determined the activity in question does not rise to the level that the film’s nomination should be rescinded. However, we did discover social media and outreach campaigning tactics that caused concern. These tactics are being addressed with the responsible parties directly.”
The scandal started when social media posts by Oscar-winning stars like Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Winslet touting Riseborough’s performance in the micro-budget indie drama sprang up during ahead of the voting deadline this month. When Riseborough eventually secured a Best Actress nomination, while expected nominees Viola Davis (“The Woman King”) and Danielle Deadwyler (“Till”) did not, a debate was sparked about whether or not the aggressive campaign tactics from the “To Leslie” camp somehow impeded on the progress the Academy has made in ensuring acting nominations remain diverse.
“The purpose of the Academy’s campaign regulations is to ensure a fair and ethical awards process,” the Academy said in its statement. “These are core values of the Academy. 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.”
A similar sentiment was shared to the Academy membership via email, which included hyperlinks to the organization’s Standards of Conduct, Awards rules, and campaign regulations. (“To Leslie” was not named.) “As we head into finals voting, please make sure that you are upholding the Academy’s Standards of Conduct and current Awards rules and campaign regulations,” Kramer wrote in his email to members. “Also, please refrain from publicly discussing your voting preferences or attempting to persuade others to vote similarly.”
Kramer added that the official changes will come “after this awards cycle and will be shared with our membership.” No specific timeline was provided, though the Board of Governors typically meets several weeks after the Oscars ceremony, which takes place this year on March 12, 2023.
Additional reporting by Eric Kohn.
Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.