Michelle Yeoh's controversial post sparks debate over Academy rule

The two leading contenders for the Best Actress Award at the 2023 Oscars are undoubtedly Michelle Yeoh and Cate Blanchett.

Michelle Yeoh has been making waves in Hollywood with her outstanding performances for several years now, putting her in the running for an Oscar. However, a recent Instagram post by Yeoh has sparked controversy and debate about the Academy's rules.

Her recent role in the highly acclaimed absurdist dramedy, Everything Everywhere All at Once has once again placed her in the spotlight, with many predicting that she could be a strong contender for Best Actress come Sunday evening. 

The now-deleted post consisted of multiple images containing excerpts from a Vogue article that highlighted the Academy's failure to award the Best Actress award to a non-white nominee for over two decades. The crux of the controversy surrounding the post centered on a specific paragraph that mentioned Cate Blanchett, who was also nominated for her performance in "Tar."

Here's the full paragraph:

Detractors would say that Blanchett’s is the stronger performance—the acting veteran is, indisputably, incredible as the prolific conductor Lydia Tar—but it should be noted that she already has two Oscars (for best supporting actress for The Aviator in 2005, and best actress for Blue Jasmine in 2014). A third would perhaps confirm her status as an industry titan but, considering her expansive and unparalleled body of work, are we still in need of yet more confirmation? Meanwhile, for Yeoh, an Oscar would be life-changing: her name would forever be preceded by the phrase "Academy Award winner," and it should result in her getting meatier parts, after a decade of being criminally underused in Hollywood.

Cate Blanchett won Best Actress at the BAFTAs for her role in Tar.

Cate Blanchett has been the subject of a similar Instagram post twice now. The first one came in January, when the official Instagram page of Andrea Riseborough's "To Leslie" film shared a now-deleted snippet from a Chicago Sun-Times article that compared Blanchett's performance in Tar with Riseborough's performance, with the author favoring the latter as his favorite.

Social media users have brought up the fact that these two similar but unrelated instances violated the campaign regulations set forth by the Academy. Rule No. 11: References to Other Nominees, part b, reads:

In particular, any tactic that singles out "the competition" by name or title is expressly forbidden.

Andrea Riseborough depicts a single mother who's an alcoholic in To Leslie.

Although the Academy ruled that the post shared on the official Instagram page of To Leslie did not meet the criteria to revoke the film's nomination, the jury is still out on Michelle Yeoh's post. Nevertheless, it's highly unlikely that Yeoh will face any repercussions, given the Academy's response to the previous allegation.

The Best Actress Award has only been won by one woman of color, Halle Berry. If Michelle Yeoh were to win over her fellow nominees, it would be a significant milestone for women of color in this category. In addition to this, she would also be the first Asian person to win the prestigious award.

Everything Everywhere All at Once received a leading eleven Oscar nominations.

Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel will be hosting the 95th Academy Awards, which are scheduled to take place on March 12, 2023, in Los Angeles.

Caleb Sama

I'm just your average Joe Schmo with a love for films and a knack for writing. I can tell you all about the latest blockbusters and indie flicks, but I'll also sneak in some obscure references and dad jokes that will make you groan and roll your eyes. My reviews are like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're gonna get, but you'll probably want more. Link up with Caleb on Steam.
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