'Crash' song back in tune with Acad

Who ever thought that “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” would be the least controversial song nominee this year?

On Wednesday, only four days before the Oscarcast, rumors were swirling that the tune “In the Deep,” from “Crash,” might be declared ineligible.

While Oscar rancor is an annual tradition, this rumor ended almost as quickly as it began.

“We are very confident that this is a qualified nomination,” Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences exec director Bruce Davis said Wednesday. “We’re not worried about it.”

Kathleen “Bird” York and Michael Becker wrote the “Crash” song several years ago, when the project was in the script stage. York and director/co-writer Paul Haggis had previously collaborated on his TV series “Family Law,” and he needed a tune for the end of the movie to pull it all together.

“Crash” bowed at the Toronto Film Festival in fall 2004 and began its commercial run in May 2005. But in the meantime, York had put the song on an album and a filmmaker friend asked if he could use it for his pic. His film played at a fest but never had a commercial release, and York was never paid for the song’s use (she thought it was being used as a temp track).

If the other film had been released ahead of “Crash,” it would be a problem. But York and Haggis supplied the Academy with data (emails, etc.) proving that it was written for his film.

Meanwhile, the Israel Project will hold a press confab Friday protesting the nomination for Palestine’s foreign-language entry “Paradise Now,” a drama about Palestinian suicide bombers. Org says it has 33,000 signatures on a petition protesting the nom. Israel Project will deliver a petition to the Academy claiming that the film “attempts to explain away the actions behind mass-murderers.”

Other groups have protested the fact that some have labeled the film coming from Palestine. On the Sunday telecast, it will be referred to as a film from the Palestinian Territories.

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