Hollywood, Sept. 4: In a move aimed at curtailing abuses that have marred recent Oscar races, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has mailed its members an eight-page code of ethics asking them to curb “manipulative and excessive” Oscar campaigns that encourage “a public perception that perhaps an Oscar can be bought”.
The new code requests the academy’s nearly 6,500 members to “voluntarily curtail their freedom of written and electronic speech during the awards season”.
Specifically, they are asked to refrain from writing op-ed pieces or give interviews praising or denigrating pictures that are “in play” at the time.
Although the code does not spell out specific penalties, the pamphlet warns members that they face expulsion from the academy and that a film can be dropped from contention for the awards for the most serious breaches.
The pamphlet also notes that Oscar season parties aimed at lobbying members have become “one of the most distasteful aspects of the academy process”. It asks members to curtail such events if their primary purpose is lobbying.
The academy said “a new and pernicious tactic” had arisen in recent years involving the dissemination of potentially damaging rumours about pictures in contention.
“Such strategies are completely indefensible, and there will be no tolerance of them by the academy,” the pamphlet states.