Sunday, March 2, 2014

Goliath Studios Booted "Cinderella's" Song from Oscars

Those who watch the Oscars need to understand the song that receives the Oscar for best song may not deserve the honor.   The Motion Picture Academy  arbitrarily rescinded the nomination of the song "Alone Yet Not Alone" from the best song category.  

According to a review "ALONE YET NOT ALONE tells the inspiring story of Barbara and Regina Leininger and their journey of faith and survival during the French & Indian war in 1755. Captured by the Allegheny Indians in a raid on their home and transported over 300 miles of wilderness to Ohio, the sisters are sustained only by their abiding trust in God, and their hope of escape against all odds to be reunited with their family."  The Leiningers had immigrated to the British Colonies in search of religious freedom.  

During the French and Indian War, the French paid the Alleghenies and others to attack British settlements.   The British saw nothing wrong with kidnapping people from Africa.

Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who has helped to market studio films, hypocritically claims that the action was justified by an email song composer Bruce Broughton sent to those who help to nominate songs.  However, she apparently sees nothing wrong with allowing major studios to run expensive campaigns for the awards.

Broughton  notes that "major studios and many independents send out DVD screeners of their films which list all of the eligible contestants on the jacket – including the songwriters – and follow up with invitations to screenings, meet-‘n-greets, sometimes including a fully produced, non-film version CD of the song, something that is disallowed by Academy rules. When major studios “campaign,” there’s no way a small independent can adequately compete. And there’s nothing anonymous about any of it." 

Conservative groups are blaming the withdrawal of the Oscar nomination for best song from "Alone Yet Not Alone" on anti-Christian prejudice.     Although the studios could  have benefited from religious prejudice among those in charge of the Oscars, the studio executives are more likely  motivated by pure greed.  They want the awards closed to outside competitors who cannot afford to make big budget movies.   The action is evidence that the Oscars are just a public relations gimmick.

The studios may have been worried that a "Cinderella" candidate might have an advantage over their big budget songs.    By giving into the studios the Academy missed a major opportunity to indicate that the Oscars are not just based on money.  Having a true Cinderella candidate would have generated a lot of positive publicity for the Academy and helped draw more viewers for the Oscar program.   

The Oscars exist to provide an advertising benefit to the studios that make big budget films. Allowing small film companies to compete for the awards cut reduce revenue for the major studios.  Taking away the nomination from "Alone Yet Not Alone" was not intended to maintain a level playing field but instead to insure that the playing field remained tilted in favor of the wealthy studios.

The huge amount of money the studios spend selling their films and performers means that the Oscar winners may only be the beneficiaries of advertising campaigns rather than the best at anything.  

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