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Hollywood sabotage? Anonymous campaign aims to disqualify an Oscar contender

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Hollywood sabotage? Anonymous campaign aims to disqualify an Oscar contender

By Phyllis Stark. CREATED Dec 19, 2013

In an effort to cloud the field and generate confusion over the Oscar-eligible Best Original Song contenders, an anonymous entity mailed out a fake article attributed to Variety "informing" Academy Award voters that a song from "The Great Gatsby" had been disqualified from eligibility. 

As Deadline.com reports, "Oscar trickery has routinely been an unfortunate part of the Academy Awards. Usually it’s reserved for the Best Picture candidates, but this year someone got an early start in the Best Original Song category."
 
After the Academy released a long list of 75 eligible tunes to voting members, an anonymous envelope was reportedly mailed to members of the Academy's music selection committee, "complete with a printout from an online article that made the bogus assertion the Grammy-nominated Lana Del Rey song 'Young And Beautiful' was disqualified for Best Song over a technicality involving 'The Great Gatsby's' changed release date," Deadline reports. "The word 'Variety' appeared on the printout that was sent, but when Warner Bros got wind of it and checked thoroughly, the piece sent was never published by Variety, and it does not appear to have been published anyplace legitimate."
 
The studio and Interscope Records are now focused on setting the record straight about the song which is, in fact, eligible. The song plays in the film in a scene where Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) regales Daisy (Carey Mulligan) with the grandeur of his mansion, according to Deadline.
 
Meanwhile, Billboard reports, "The last time a kerfuffle erupted over a song came during the 2004 awards season when a smear campaign was launched against the use of Kathleen 'Bird' York's 'In the Deep' in 'Crash.' The rumor mill, which was found to be untrue, was grinding out a story that York's tune was several years old.
 
Since then, "producers and distributors have gone to great lengths in recent years to quash any disinformation that could put the eligibility of songs or scores into question," according to Billboard.
Phyllis Stark

Phyllis Stark

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Phyllis Stark is the Digital Executive Producer - National Content for Journal Broadcast Group.