Letter to the editor

On March 25, your paper stated I had “lost (my) appeal seeking a retroactive Oscar win…” But my complaint never requested that. It only asked the courts to apply a “due process” standard of fairness upon the Producers Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences going forward.

The courts did not rule on whether I was rightly or wrongly treated. They simply determined that the law protecting individuals from harmful decisions in private organizations did not apply to the PGA nor the Academy. Unfortunately, the justices found, that the profession of making motion pictures did not merit the same protection as the field of dentistry (which has been given this protection).

I still hope that your readers who love movies and the business will understand that some battles, no matter how unpleasant, are worth fighting. I hope others will make their voices known until change is made to the process in question so that openness and fairness are incorporated therein.

For many years, all credited producers of best-picture nominees were recognized in the Academy Awards process.

Eventually, the Academy limited the number of producers to three or fewer. However, the real troubling action was not the Academy’s decision just to limit the number of producers, but to determine who is a “qualified” producer and assigned this task to the PGA.

I give credit to the Academy leadership for taking steps in a positive direction recently. However, the current status remains where the most respected award the Academy gives, the best picture Oscar, is still locked into a potential yearly brawl where producers would now have to perform a bake-off for PGA “judges.”

Many have said I was taking on City Hall when I protested the process that denied me an Oscar nomination for my efforts on “Crash.” They were right. However, I don’t regret it because I believe one of the greatest things about this country is its fundamental belief in fairness and transparency in the corridors of power.

I hope my protest will continue to bring attention and scrutiny to an arcane and unfair process.

Bob Yari

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