Source: The Playlist
13 Hours Sound Mixer Disqualified From Academy Awards
Tomorrow night, ABC plays host to the 89th annual Academy Awards ceremony. More commonly referred to as simply the Oscars, the ceremony honors what the Academy’s members believe to be the best of the past year from the world of film, and is generally considered the most highly coveted award that someone who works in movies can hope to win.
One common tradition at the Oscars is that films most wouldn’t normally consider serious contenders end up receiving nominations in technical categories, usually genre films or other efforts that don’t fit the usual tastes of the Academy voters. Whether that practice is right or wrong is up for debate, but it’s the reality. One such film this year is Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, which set out to dramatize the events of the 2012 attack on America’s embassy in the titular Libyan city. Despite drawing mixed reviews from critics and doing pretty poorly at the box office, 13 Hours did receive an Oscar nomination for Best Sound Mixing.
Four people in total were nominated as part of 13 Hours sound mixing team, including Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush, and Mac Ruth. Unfortunately, The Playlist reports that Russell has since had his nomination revoked, due to apparently violating the Academy’s rules concerning lobbying one’s colleagues for support during the period where nominees were being chosen. Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs offered the following comment on the matter:
“The Board of Governors’ decision to rescind Mr. Russell’s nomination was made after careful consideration. The Academy takes very seriously the Oscars voting process and anything – no matter how well-intentioned – that may undermine the integrity of that process.”
While an Oscar nominee getting their nomination disqualified is not unheard of, it’s only happened a fairly small number of times in the ceremony’s history. For example, in 2014, the faith-based film Alone Yet Not Alone had its nomination for Best Original Song disqualified after it was discovered that the song’s composer had been lobbying Academy members during the nomination phase, similarly to what got Russell in trouble above.
Still, despite Russell’s personal nomination getting revoked, the other nominated members of 13 Hours’ sound mixing team are still eligible to win, due to not having violated the rules themselves. Other nominated films in the category include Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge, sci-fi drama Arrival, and Oscar darling La La Land.