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BAFTA Members Are Told: “No Write-Ins for Uggie!”

111215105233_The-artist
Adam Dawtrey checks in from London and says that BAFTA voters have gotten the official word that they can’t write in Uggie from “The Artist” in the supporting category. Woof!

The Brits are a notoriously dog-loving nation. So perhaps it’s no surprise that several BAFTA members have inquired whether they are allowed to vote for Uggie, the talented pooch from “The Artist,” in the supporting actor category. After all, BAFTA once nominated a donkey, in the shape of Eddie Murphy from “Shrek.” After taking several such calls, the folks at Premier PR, which is repping the pic’s BAFTA campaign on behalf of Entertainment Film Distributors, sent out the following message to all members. “We have received a number of inquiries regarding regarding the eligibility of Uggie, the Jack Russell, in the role of ‘DOG’ for Actor in a Supporting Role in ‘The Artist.’ “Regretfully, we must advise that as he is not a human being and as his unique motivation as an actor was sausages, Uggie is not qualified to compete for the BAFTA in this category. We thank you on his behalf for your support and will pass your compliments along to him.” While this smacks slightly of a typically witty PR stunt from Premier’s queen of award campaigning, Liz Miller, she assures Variety that the inquiries from the members were genuine. Perhaps this should be interpreted as a sign of the groundswell of support for “The Artist” in the BAFTA race, even before the film’s UK release Dec. 30. — Adam Dawtrey

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