Oscars 2017: Academy revokes 'Benghazi' sound mixer's nomination a day before awards ceremony

Sound mixer Greg P. Russell had violated campaign rules by contacting sound branch members of the Academy during voting.

13 Hours movie
A still from director Michael Bay's '13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.' thirteenhoursmovie.com/theatrical

With just few hours remaining before the 89th Academy Awards ceremony takes place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, the motion picture academy has rescinded the Oscar nomination for sound mixer Greg P. Russell for director Michael Bay's feature '13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.'

Deadline reported that the Academy's Board of Governors decided to revoke a Sound Mixing nomination for re-recording mixer Greg P. Russell after discovering that he was in violation of the Academy campaign rules.

"The decision was prompted by the discovery that Russell had called his fellow members of the sound branch during the nominations phase to make them aware of his work on the film, in direct violation of a campaign regulation that prohibits telephone lobbying," the academy said in a statement, as noted by LA Times.

Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs also said in a statement "The board of governors' decision to rescind Mr. Russell's nomination was made after careful consideration. The Academy takes very seriously the Oscars voting process and anything – no matter how well-intentioned – that may undermine the integrity of that process."

According to the Academy Board of Governors, "contacting Academy members by telephone to promote a film or achievement is expressly forbidden, even if such contact is in the guise of checking to make sure a screener or other mailing was received."

It was learned that the sound branch's executive committee had learned of Mr. Russell's violation of the Academy nominations protocols and recommended that his nomination be struck off the list. The Board of Governors of the Academy acted on it and pulled the nomination. However, Russell's fellow sound mixers from '13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,' namely Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Mac Ruth will be keeping their names as joint nominees for sound mixing on the movie.

Vanity Fair notes this isn't the first time that the Academy has struck off a nomination due to violation of rules. In 2014, composer Bruce Broughton's nomination for the film 'Alone yet Not Alone' in the best original song category, was similarly revoked. It was learned that Broughton had used his position as a former Academy Governor and head of the music branch and email members of the branch "to make them aware of his submission during the nominations voting period."

The other nominees in the Sound Mixing category this year, are Bernard Gariépy Strobl and Claude La Haye for 'Arrival,' Kevin O'Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace for 'Hacksaw Ridge,' Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee and Steve A. Morrow for 'La La Land' and David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson for 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.'

This article was first published on February 26, 2017