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'Hurt Locker' Producer's E-Mail Campaign Ruffles Feathers

It’s the season of the knockdown, drag-out Oscar campaign, and one of this year’s Academy Award nominees, “The Hurt Locker” co-producer Nicolas Chartier, has thrown down in a mighty conspicuous (and potentially self-defeating) way. Last weekend, Chartier sent out an e-mail plea asking friends and industry contacts to help the Iraq war film win Oscar gold, but this hands-on strategy didn’t sit well with some members of the academy. –KA

“The Envelope” in The Los Angeles Times:

The academy forced Chartier to issue an apology and e-mail it to each person who received the plea he sent last week. The academy began hearing from outraged reps for studios with other best picture contenders almost as soon as the initial e-mail went out. In some cases Chartier, apparently unknowingly, sent his e-mail — a direct violation of academy etiquette and rules — to producers who worked on the competition. A Paramount rep wrote me, “It went to members of our filmmaking team on our movie.” Reportedly one of the recipients was Oscar-nominated “Up in the Air” co-writer Sheldon Turner, whose e-mail from Chartier even suggested specific (very well-known) academy members he should target in support of “The Hurt Locker.” At least one producer associated with “Inglourious Basterds” also received it. I’ve learned that some of these e-mails have been directly forwarded to the academy.

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