Apology to Academy for BURIED Letter
Uh oh, looks like someone made an oops. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Buried screenwriter Chris Spalding sent a letter he shouldn’t have to AMPAS and now his publicist has had to ask for forgiveness on his behalf.
In the letter, Sparling apparently urged for an Oscar vote by stating things like “Roger Ebert [gave] it 3 1/2 out of 4 stars and… two thumbs up… Variety [said] the film is ‘…an ingenious exercise in sustained tension that would have made Alfred Hitchcock proud,'”
The letter was in clear violation of AMPAS rules:
“Mailings that extol the merits of a film, an achievement or an individual are not permitted… quotes from reviews [are] not permitted, nor should they refer to other honors or awards, past or present…”
MPRM Communications co-president Mark Pogachefsky had this to say:
“In the preholiday rush, a letter went out that wasn’t properly vetted, and we sincerely apologize for the error. Chris didn’t know the rules, and we didn’t catch it — it just went through the email system.”
It has since been learned that a publicist who was checking her email while out holiday shopping with her toddler daughter in a bustling mall was involved. While it does not seem to be a nefarious plot against the integrity of the Academy, the mistake could have serious consequences. The Hurt Locker’s producer Nicolas Chartier reportedly sent a similar letter last year, and AMPAS took away his ticket to the Oscars, saying also that if the film won he wouldn’t be allowed to come onstage. The difference though is that film had already been nominated, while Buried has not.
All of this has left AMPAS with a bit of a dilemma. After all, how do you go about disinviting someone who likely won’t get invited anyhow? Probably the toughest punishment they could give would be to disqualify the screenplay.