Maybe now only those who are deserving will win

Officials move to take the edge off Oscar campaigning
LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Oscar bosses are planning to impose tough new rules to stop Hollywood studios from waging overly aggressive campaigns to convince Academy Awards voters to honor their movies, officials said.
The proposed beefed-up restrictions on pre-Oscars campaigning for cinema’s highest honours come after unprecedented controversy over attempts by certain top Hollywood producers to influence Oscars voters.
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president, Frank Pierson, said he had formed a committee to investigate Oscar campaign practices, according to Academy officials.
The campaign committee will confer with major players in the industry with the aim of “reducing the intensity of the campaigning,” the officials confirmed.
“We all share the belief that it threatens the integrity of the Oscar,” Pierson was quoted as saying. “The implication is that the Oscar can be bought by an intense campaign.”
The proposed crackdown on over-zealous campaigning comes after Miramax studios came under fire ahead of this year’s Oscars in March for allegedly breaking unspoken Academy rules on campaigning for a best director Oscar for “Gangs of New York” filmmaker Martin Scorsese.
Scorsese lost the award to “The Pianist” director Roman Polanski.
A year earlier, there were allegations that one studio launched a public smear campaign against the ultimate winner of the 2002 best picture Oscar “A Beautiful Mind” in a year marked by some of the dirtiest campaigning ever.
Pierson told industry bible Daily Variety that he would be meeting Miramax chief Harvey Weinstein in New York next week to discuss the planned crackdown on campaigns that officials fear could tarnish Oscar’s reputation.
“I know Harvey, too, is concerned,” Pierson said.
The Academy asks that its 5,816 voters do not discuss their choices ahead of the awards and that they refrain from holding parties specifically aimed at boosting the Oscar potential of a particular film or star.
Studios traditionally spend many hundreds of thousands of dollars on newspaper, trade journal and radio and television advertisements as well as on billboards across Los Angeles to tout their movies and stars.
This year there was rash of parties “in honor of” various nominees, with Academy voters being invited to salute people they had never met, a practice severely frowned upon by the Academy, Variety said.
But industry insiders said it would be hard to implement tough new rules as they could obstruct the US right of expression by ordering that certain people not hold certain parties or that they do not speak of their choices.
Next year’s 76th annual Oscar will be held about a month earlier than usual — on February 29 — as part of a two-year experiment aimed at shortening the annual awards campaigning season that traditionally has Hollywood in a lather.