Hollywood watchers blame Washington for "Zero Dark Thirty" Oscar snub

Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:35am EST
 
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Kathryn Bigelow's snub by Academy Awards voters stunned her cast and awards pundits on Thursday, with some pointing the finger at Washington politicians for the "Zero Dark Thirty" director's omission from the best director Oscar shortlist.

Bigelow was seen as the biggest casualty on Oscar nominations day after her controversial Osama bin Laden thriller won five nods, including best picture, but the director herself was cut out of the running for the industry's biggest honors.

"Kathryn Bigelow was robbed," tweeted Megan Ellison, one of the movie's producers, after the nominations were announced.

The movie about the decade-long U.S. hunt for bin Laden has come under fierce attack in Washington. A group of senators in December chided distributor Sony Pictures in a letter, calling the film "grossly inaccurate and misleading" for suggesting torture helped the United States capture bin Laden in May 2011.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has also launched a review of CIA dealings with Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal.

Hollywood watchers say the negative publicity affected the choices made by the Academy of Motion Pictures, whose 6,000 members are working professionals in the industry.

Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan blamed the snub for Bigelow on what he called Washington bullies.

"Chalk up this year's (Oscar) nominations as a victory for the bullying power of the United States Senate and an undeserved loss for 'Zero Dark Thirty' in general and director Kathryn Bigelow in particular," Turan wrote on Thursday.   Continued...

 
Director and producer Kathryn Bigelow is interviewed at the premiere of "Zero Dark Thirty" at the Dolby theatre in Hollywood, California December 10, 2012. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni