Andrea Riseborough has earned an Oscars nomination for her role in “To Leslie,” where she plays a poor, single mother struggling with addiction who quickly burns through money she won in the lottery. Is that Best Actress nomination deserved? Few people saw this movie, or even heard of it, until it got social media promotion from stars like Gwyneth Paltrow, Courteney Cox, Amy Adams, and Edward Norton. The Academy says it now wants to make sure the promotional campaign around the film — and Riseborough’s nomination — didn’t violate its guidelines.
“The Academy has very specific rules for what is allowed and what is not allowed during the campaign period. And what you are not allowed to do is ‘lobby.’ You're not allowed to harass people, you're not allowed to send multiple emails,” explains Matt Belloni, founding partner of Puck News. “There is an Academy e-blast system that you're supposed to use to let people know about your screenings. And you're supposed to use this system to tell people about the movie, but not go overboard and start harassing them. And that's what's alleged here, in part.”
He also points out, “Many people in the community believe that the reason why the Academy has been so aggressive on this and doing the investigation is because of this perception that the cronyism and the relationships that this white actress may have had — pushed out these Black actresses [Viola Davis and Danielle Detweiler] who may have not had those same kinds of relationships.”