If you're not aware of what Alone Yet Not Alone is, let's begin there: Earlier this month when the Oscar nominations were announced, one entry for Alone Yet Not Alone in the Best Original Song category had many scratching their heads in confusion. That's because, despite no substantial time in theaters, this small, evangelical Christian film with a website that offers a Church Study Guide to follow along with during the movie had somehow managed to secure an Oscar nomination, against seemingly all odds. Really, check out the song below:
[[complexVideo? &video_id=`83717` ]]
So, how did it actually get nominated? Turns out, the song's writer Bruce Broughton was actually nominated before in 1985 for Silverado, and he's also a former governor of the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences. As he was still "well-liked" by the Academy, so he started calling up people he knew to recommend and urge them to vote for the song. Seems sketchy, but as Deadline pointed out at the time, "This is sometimes how the inner workings of these groups operate."
Its board of governors voted Tuesday night after revelations that the song's composer, Bruce Broughton, e-mailed members during the 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," said Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy.
Any perceived campaigning is considered a rule violation.
While this seems like an unprecedented move on the Academy's part, it's actually not: A few nominees have had their nominations revoked in the past, like 1992's A Place in the World, and the Best Original Dramatic Score nomination for The Godfather—amongst others.
In response to the Academy's decision, Broughton spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the accusations. "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."
Still, no matter the intentions or "simplicity" of a campaign, any campaign is considered cheating.