Just ahead of tonight’s ceremonies, the Academy’s Board of Governors made the decision to rescind a Sound Mixing nomination from Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.
Greg P. Russell was found to be in violation of the Academy’s conduct for campaign regulations after he called to lobby fellow members of the Sound Branch, informing them of his work on the film.
The Academy notes that another nominee won’t be named in his place.
The other nominees on the film—Mac Ruth, Jeffrey J. Haboush, and Gary Summers—will remain in contention for the award.
Other films up for the award include Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Christopher Scarabosio, David Parker, & Stuart Wilson), Arrival (Claude La Haye & Bernard Gariépy Strobl), Hacksaw Ridge (Peter Grace, Robert Mackenzie, Andy Right & Kevin O’Connell), and La La Land (Ai-Ling Lee, Andy Nelson, & Steve A. Morrow).
Russell’s violation came in the form of telephone lobbying, meaning that he contacted members during the nomination phase to make them aware of the contributions he made to the film.
Academy regulations explicitly state that contacting voters “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.”
We’ll find out if the punishment looms over the other team members’ achievements when they announce the Award for Best Sound Mixing at tonight’s Oscar Ceremonies, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.
Hopefully Bay’s next Transformers film, the Last Knight, has better luck when Awards season rolls around again.