UPDATE: The Academy released a statement Saturday explaining why they revoked the nomination for Christian film “Alone Yet Note Alone.” It reiterated earlier claims that improper lobbying was done by the songwriter before the nomination.
The Oscar-winning producer of “Schindler’s List” hammered the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in a letter he penned after they made the unusual decision to rescind a nomination for a Christian film.
Gerald Molen accused the Academy of discriminating against a religious movie after the prestigious motion picture body decided to take away a nomination for Christian film “Alone Yet Not Alone,” citing alleged improper lobbying done by the songwriter before the initial nomination.
[sharequote align=”center”]”Many will see this decision as faith-based bigotry pure and simple.”[/sharequote]
“Every film, director, writer, cinematographer, actor, art director, costume designer and efx house finds a way to pitch or promote their work. Many will see this decision as faith-based bigotry pure and simple,” Molen said in a letter to Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, obtained by the Hollywood Reporter.
“Critics will pounce and accuse us of being out of touch and needlessly offending middle America by stripping this song — a song sung by a quadriplegic hero to evangelical Christians who has captured the imagination of the American people — of its nomination,” Molen reportedly continued in the letter. “In my humble opinion, it seems to me that this has turned a Cinderella story that America loves into a story of the wicked stepmother who wants to keep her daughter from the ball, with we the Academy cast as the villain.”
[sharequote align=”center”]”…this has turned a Cinderella story…into a story of the wicked stepmother who wants to keep her daughter from the ball…”[/sharequote]
After its initial nomination, several songwriters had expressed that they did not feel the film’s song should have been nominated for an Oscar.
A private investigator was even hired by some to investigate whether the film should be disqualified for failure to meet advertising requirements, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“It has been reported that a rival film hired a private investigator to find dirt on the film in an attempt to discredit it as not having been advertised properly and that when this failed to sway the committee, a decision was instead made to disqualify it because of the email,” Molen reportedly wrote. “I urge you and the Academy to reconsider this decision and restore the song and fairness and integrity to our process.”
Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter