The song “Alone Yet Not Alone” caused quite a buzz when it received an Oscar nomination earlier this month.
Now the tune, featured in a small film of the same name, is making headlines again, after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Wednesday it has rescinded the nomination.
The Academy’s Board of Governors made the decision Tuesday night after it learned that composer Bruce Broughton, who worked on “Alone Yet Not Alone” and is a former governor and current executive committee member of the Academy’s Music Branch, emailed members of the branch to make them aware of his submission during the nominations voting period.
“No matter how well-intentioned the communication, using one’s position as a former governor and current executive committee member to personally promote one’s own Oscar submission creates the appearance of an unfair advantage,” Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs said, in a statement.
Broughton, who was previously nominated in 1986 for the score to “Silverado,” had shared his latest nod with lyricist Dennis Spiegel.
Their hymnal song is featured in the independent faith-based feature about 18th century colonists struggling to survive in the Ohio Valley. It’s performed by popular evangelical Christian author and singer Joni Eareckson Tada, who sings from a wheelchair after becoming a quadriplegic 47 years ago from a diving accident when she was 17.
Following his disqualification, Broughton said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter: “I’m devastated. I indulged in the simplest grassroots campaign and it went against me when the song started getting attention. I got taken down by competition that had months of promotion and advertising behind them. I simply asked people to find the song and consider it.”
With the elimination of “Alone Yet Not Alone” from the best original song category, only four songs will compete for the Oscar: U2′s “Ordinary Love,” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”; Pharrell Williams’ “Happy,” from “Despicable Me 2″; “Let It Go” from “Frozen”; and “The Moon Song” from “Her.”
The Academy doesn’t rescind Oscar nominations often. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it’s only happened a handful of times.