Peter Gabriel has withdrawn from performing at the Academy Awards, hoping the Soweto Gospel Choir will be booked to perform his nominated song “Down to Earth” from “Wall-E.”
Gabriel was told he would perform for only 60-65 seconds in a medley of the nominated songs. When he said yes to performing the song he co-wrote with Thomas Newman, he was under the impression they would be able to perform the song in its entirety. He does not believe the song will work in such a truncated form.
“It’s a bit unfortunate,” he said in a video on his website. “The songwriters are a very small part of the filmmaking process but we still work bloody hard and deserve (a bigger part in the ceremony).”
Calling himself “an old fart” who can afford to “make a little protest,” Gabriel’s hope is that the Oscarcast producers will reconsider the move next year and reinstate full performances of songs.
The Feb. 22 show is a maiden voyage for producers Laurence Mark and Bill Condon. Gabriel still intends to attend the ceremony.
The Academy had no comment.