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Its no secret that sometimes stars and films win Oscars because of a little behind-the-scenes campaigning with Oscar voters, but Hurt Locker producer Nicolas Chartier has been banned from attending the ceremony for blatant promotion of his film.
Chartier, who would be one of those accepting the Best Picture award if The Hurt Locker wins on Sunday night, was penalized by the Academy for sending e-mails to possible voters in support of the film. These e-mails mainly cast Hurt Locker against Avatar, showing Hurt Locker''s popularity with audiences, mentioning past awards it has won, and promoting the films indie status, claiming it isn't a "$500 million film," like Avatar. The e-mails were leaked to and published by the LA Times on their award's show blog "Notes on a Season". After this publication, Chartier sent out an e-mail response:
"My naivete, ignorance of the rules and plain stupidity as a first-time nominee is not an excuse for this behavior and I strongly regret it," Chartier wrote.
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Though the Academy is disappointed in such behavior, they are still permitting the other three producers to attend and accept the awards should The Hurt Locker win.
"You would hope it wouldn't have happened," said Tom Sherak, academy president. "It will not cloud what the night is. This was an individual thing that happened. It's been dealt with, and now we're going on to the show."
In a sort of ironic twist, Kathryn Bigelow and James Cameron, the respective directors of The Hurt Locker and Avatar are ex-husband and wife. It was Cameron who encouraged Bigelow to take on the role of director for The Hurt Locker. If Bigelow wins in the Best Director category in which she is nominated, she will be the first ever woman to win an Academy Award for direction.