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The Hurt Locker breaks the rules and gets "penalized"

For those of you who missed the email (literally), here it is again.  This came from one of the producers of The Hurt Locker, an incredible war film currently the critic favorite to win Best Picture.  The film is good and I highly recommend it.  However, the producer overstepped this just a little.

Official Movie Poster

I hope all is well with you. I just wanted to write you and say I hope you liked Hurt Locker and if you did and want us to win, please tell (name deleted) and your friends who vote for the Oscars, tell actors, directors, crew members, art directors, special effects people, if everyone tells one or two of their friends, we will win and not a $500M film, we need independent movies to win like the movies you and I do, so if you believe The Hurt Locker is the best movie of 2010, help us!

I'm sure you know plenty of people you've worked with who are academy members whether a publicist, a writer, a sound engineer, please take 5 minutes and contact them. Please call one or two persons, everything will help!

best regards,

Nicolas Chartier Voltage Pictures

Now, only two films have grossed $500M:  Pixar's Up and, of course, Avatar.  The general assumption is that the comment implied Avatar, not Up.  Chartier did write an apology.

Last week I emailed you regarding the Oscars next week, generally, and
"The Hurt Locker," in particular.

My email to you was out of line and not in the spirit of the celebration of
cinema that this acknowledgement is. I was even more wrong, both personally
and professionally, to ask for your help in encouraging others to vote for
the film and to comment on another movie. As passionate as I am about the
film we made, this was an extremely inappropriate email to send, and
something that the Academy strongly disapproves of in the rules.

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. Being
nominated for an Academy Award is the ultimate honor and I should have taken
the time to read the rules.

I am emailing each person this very same statement asking to retract my
previous email and requesting that you please disregard it.

I truly apologize to anyone I have offended.

Sincerely yours,

best regards,

Nicolas Chartier
Voltage Pictures, LLC

So the man broke some Academy rules and must pay the penalties.  This is the point where I get a little upset.  The rumor currently circling the movie industry is the most that will happen is they lose tickets to the Oscar Ceremony.  Now, I'm curious.  Why is that bad?  They still get the "Academy Award Winner" titled added to their names, still have the statues in their homes, and still have a place in history.

Now the penalty isn't going to be announced until the middle of next week.  Care to take a guess why?  Tuesday the remaining ballots must be in and tallied.  In other words, they want everyone to vote for the film before they "punish" them.

My thinking is:  rules were broken.  I think Kathryn Bigelow DEFINITELY deserves the Best Director Oscar, no doubt about that.  If there is any punishment they intend to place, they should NOT take that away from her.  I think the film should be disqualified for the Best Picture category as that's the category which involves Chartier.  That would be the harshest punishment.  If we're going for a lesser sentence, at least disqualify Chartier from being nominated.  (In other words, if the film wins Best Picture, he doesn't receive an award.)

Too severe?  Definitely not.  Don't punish everyone over one person's mistake.


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