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Questions Raised About Academy Award Process

Mar. 7, 1962 - George C. Scott’s request to have his name withdrawn as a nominee in the Oscar competition has raised controversial questions in the race for the industry’s most important honors. The actor-director revealed Monday that he had asked the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to remove him as a nominee. He had been selected by the Academy for his supporting actor performance in “The Hustler.” Mr. Scott said he meant no disrespect to the Academy but that he resented the extent to which advertising figured in the race. The Academy told him his name could not be withdrawn but that he could refuse to accept the gold-plated Oscar if he won. The subject of excessive advertising in Oscar competitions has become so heated that the academy and the Screen Actors Guild has asked eligibles to curb excesses — so far, to no avail. There has also been growing pressure to enlarge the membership of the academy, which now has about 2,300 eligible voters. This is only a small percentage of the movie industry. Of the 14,000 actors in the Screen Actors Guild, only 502 are in the Academy. Of the 1,100 writers in the Writers Guild of America, only 210 are in the Academy. Of the 850 movie directors in the Directors Guild of America, only 137 are in the Academy. It is suspected that one reason the vote on the Oscars race is secret is that the total vote is so small that the public, if it learned the truth, might consider the Oscar competition somewhat farcical.


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