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The Academy Shall Banish You For Treason Against Its King

By Miscellaneous | | March 3, 2010 |

By Miscellaneous | | March 3, 2010 |

He may not really be the “king of the world,” but James Cameron is certainly the king of the Oscars. This is how I know it to be true: the Oscar telecast producers let Sacha Baron Cohen go as a presenter due to an Avatar sketch that might have offended his highness. And Nicholas Chartier, a producer of The Hurt Locker, has also been banned from the ceremony due to some disparaging comments about Cameron’s films in an email urging friends to vote against Avatar for Best Picture (and to vote for his own film instead).

The producer’s actual email was the main issue, as the Academy prohibits such mailings promoting a film, but the disparaging another film part is also against the rules. And I’m sure disparaging a film made by the king is especially considered worthy of punishment. But is a ban the proper penalty? Here’s what some other people think Chartier deserves for his treasonous crime against the King:

  • Tom Ganjamie at Best Week Ever:
    The Academy shouldn’t ban Chartier. In fact, they should sit him right next to James Cameron for the entire broadcast so we get to see him squirm in his chair and pull out his collar and say “Uhhhhgggguuuhhhh.” If The Hurt Locker does win they should make Chartier deliver his speech while wearing that bomb defusing suit from the movie and jump on a trampoline for twelve minutes. Only then he can have his Oscar.
  • Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood:
    So let me get this straight; Nicolas Chartier who financed The Hurt Locker and is one of the 4 officially credited producers can’t attend the Academy Awards because he sent a mass email that never even mentioned Avatar by name? And the Oscars governing body thinks his badmouthing is so much worse than what nearly everyone in the Best Picture category has done year after year? I find it ludicrous that the Academy of shame has made a decision so lame. So I must ask: is it mere coincidence that Academy president Tom Sherak (at one time a bigtime Fox movie exec), Oscars producers Bill Mechanic (at one time a bigtime Fox movie exec) and Adam Shankman (currently a bigtime Fox Broadcast talent), and Academy Board Of Governors member Jim Gianopulos (currently a bigtime Fox movie exec) all have strong ties to the Avatar studio? The Academy should have leaned over backwards not to appear Fox-sympathetic because of this.

  • Mark at I Watch Stuff:
    In response to the ruling, Chartier said, “That’s a fair punishment for my ignorant actions. However, I do hope you’ll allow my twin sister Nicoletta, whom I look nearly identical to and have never been seem in the same room with, to go in my stead. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to visit my brother Harvey Fierstein.”
  • Kevin Jagernauth at The Playlist:
    We truly feel sorry for Chartier, a newbie producer on the block, who will have to miss out on one of the biggest nights of his career. We think the Academy is being far too harsh, and if they really wanted to do something to protect the supposed “honor” of the industry, they would make a concerted effort to stamp out the malicious knives-in-the-back bullshit that goes on every Oscar season, instead of taking down a guy who just perhaps, a little too enthusiastic.
  • Lane Brown at Vulture:
    Nicolas Chartier, the Hurt Locker producer who lost his five tickets to the Oscars over one tiny e-mail, is having a party thrown in his honor on Sunday […] They’re renting a red carpet and, because Chartier is from France, Taylor and Lynette will serve French food and even outfit their dog with a beret. Top that, Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic.
  • Matt Damon, as quoted by Melena Ryzik at The Carpetbagger, on the subject of Oscar smear campaigns:
    “I actually think the way they should do the awards, I really think this, is they should give them out 10 years later,” Mr. Damon said. “Like the way they do the Hall of Fame in Baseball. They do it in five years, but if you did 10 years later, if this year, we were voting on what was the best picture of 2000, I think it would be much more honest. It’s like, when you pick up great old movies and you go, why the hell didn’t Brando win the Oscar for this one? Who won that year? Whatever the sizzle was about that year. 50 years later you’re looking at a movie and going, this is a historic cinematic performance.”
  • Eric D. Snider at Cinematical:
    A guy who co-produced one movie urged people to vote for it over the others. What was he supposed to do say? “I hope there’s a ten-way tie and we ALL win!”? […] Chartier’s lesson here should be that if you want to smear the competition, you have to do it right. You can’t send an e-mail to everyone in your address book making a passing reference to an expensive fellow nominee. You have to do it privately, secretly, and use a lot of innuendo rather than straightforward statements. The L.A. Times’ weaselly story last week questioning Hurt Locker’s authenticity is more like it: Wait until a few days before Oscar ballots are due (rather than, say, when the movie came out, eight months ago), then run an article citing a few people who take issue with the film’s depiction of soldiers. Make sure to mention that, oh yeah, the majority of military experts who’ve commented have praised it, but keep the headline and the bulk of the story negative. Why? To cast just a little bit of doubt in voters’ minds without coming right out and saying, “You shouldn’t vote for this movie.”
  • David Chen at /Film:
    One thing’s for sure: If The Hurt Locker doesn’t take Best Picture, I do not want to be Nicolas Chartier on Sunday night.

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