Categorized | News, Opinion


I just wrote this blog on the Oscar Song controversy and asked Breitbart to check into this claim of anti-Christian bias.  Maybe I should have trusted my own research skills – here’s what I found just searching for more stories on this issue.

Here is a telling editorial (THE RACE at The Hollywood Reporter by Scott Feinberg) that seems to say that there was a real possibility of pretext in the decision by the Academy to disqualify the Alone But Not Alone song sung by Joni Erickson Tada.  (Pretext in Title VII [employment discrimination] law is using a valid reason to make an employment decision that is really a cover for discrimination; the best way to show pretext is to show that that the manner of use of the valid reason was not consistently done in the past in the same way.)

But does that [en masse personal solicitation which was NOT done here], in itself, merit the disqualification of an Oscar nomination? (THR has been able to identify fewer than a dozen prior instances of nominations being revoked.) I don’t think so. It feels like the punishment doesn’t fit the “crime.” Maybe something more along the lines of a slap on the wrist, like the loss of tickets to the Oscar show — that is, after all, how The Hurt Locker‘s Oscar-nominated producer Nicolas Chartier was punished by the Academy after he sent emails to Oscar voters, after having been nominated, disparaging another competitor, Avatar.

Now, the fact that the Academy’s press release was so vague about Broughton’s alleged offenses probably means one of two things: (1) Broughton’s outreach to music branch members was fairly innocuous and the board just felt that it had to make an example of him to discourage future maneuverings of this sort by others, or (2) it involved something far worse than what has previously been reported — as in, “Vote for me or else something will happen to you” — and the board did not want to share the specifics of that in order to spare its longtime colleague any further embarrassment.

Based, though, on what I know about Broughton, and the fact that he has been very open and transparent with the press since his nomination, I would bet on the former. And, if I am right, then I am afraid that — in my humble opinion — the Academy is wrong.

By the way, I would say that The Hurt Locker is much more pro-American movie than Avatar that shows troops suspiciously like US soldiers employed to exploit and kill as necessary a less sophisticated people for the minerals in their land.  Now we do many examples of inappropriate use of US troops but not to exploit minerals or kill people in developing nations to obtain resources.  The Avatar movie insulted our soldiers.

This finds support in the Hill Place blog:

(Update 4:12 PM EST, 2/1/14):  Glenn Whipp of the LA Times just posted a very informative article citing a statement released on Saturday by the Academy alleging that Broughton violated the rules of the Academy because the voting process is supposed to be “anonymous” in the interests of promoting “fairness” and “unbiased” voting.  They cited rule 5.3 of the 86th Academy Award rules that states composer and lyricist credits should be omitted from DVDs of songs sent to voters in the Music Branch.  If this was indeed the reasoning behind the rescission, why not cite it upfront earlier this week?  ***  If rule 5.3 is all they can cite to, then Broughton has done no wrong because a rule requiring no names on a DVD featuring songs for voters to review is wholly different than sending an email to members asking them to just consider a song.  Offhand, this statement just sounds like an excuse made up after the fact to justify their actions because of the controversy that erupted and it doesn’t change my mind on this issue at all.

That is pretext.  Pretext for what?  Could be religious discrimination.  We’ll see what happens but this is what I expect from such things as the Oscars today.  I’d still like to see Breitbart look into this.  As for me, I will do what I was going to do:  Boycott the Oscars.  Other believers in Christ Jesus ought to do the same.


About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

Sign up for Virginia Right Once Daily Email Digest

No Spam - ever! We send a daily email with the posts of the previous day. Unsubscribe at any time.
* = required field

Follow Us Anywhere!