Alone Yet Not Alone, the song taken from the historical drama of he same name, was pulled from the Oscar race yesterday amid a rule-breaking scandal. Although awards nominees are allowed to send out promotional materials in the early part of the voting season, it is strictly forbidden to undertake direct, personal campaigning for a particular nominee, and the song's author, former Academy governor Bruce Broughton, was found to have emailed members to ask them to vote for his song. After hearing the decision, he described himself as devastated.
"No matter how well-intentioned the communication, using one’s position as a former governor and current executive committee member to personally promote one’s own Oscar submission creates the appearance of an unfair advantage," said the Academy's president, Cheryl Boone Isascs, in a clarifying statement.
Broughton sees it differently, arguing that sending a single email message to each voter amounts to very little in comparison to the months of promotional work that most big studio films benefit from. Alone Yet Not Alone is an independent film without big name stars to talk it up in interviews.
It is the first time in 40 years that a nominee has been disqualified. As voting has already started, no replacement will be arranged, so it's now a four horse race for best Original Song.