The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is under pressure to review and possibly change their rules regarding Oscar nominations after two online campaigns were launched in support of British actress Andrea Riseborough. Begun in April 2020, the campaigns encourage Academy members to consider the critically acclaimed and acclaimed performance of the star in the 2019 feature film “The Irishman” when considering the best supporting actress Oscar nomination.
Led by the Los Angeles-based film website Awards Watch, the “Operation Riseborough” campaign chronicles the parallels between Riseborough’s performance as Judith ‘Ideal’ Hickey and Robert DeNiro’s portrayal of Jimmy Hoffa in The Irishman. This campaign is backed by a strong online presence, with a website of its own, a hashtag, and several forums and social media platforms.
The second campaign, dubbed “This Is Andrea Riseborough”, was launched by UK-based fan Helen Fields and is centred around the argument that the Academy’s rules on consideration for best actress Oscar nominations are too narrow for the category to fully recognise the calibre of all performances.
These campaigns have reignited debate about the rules surrounding the Academy’s selection process and have put significant pressure on the Academy to review and reconsider its criteria. The organisation has responded by agreeing to undertake a thorough review, chaired by Academy President John Bailey and Executive Director Cristopher BOE. According to a statement released by the Academy in April, the review will focus on improving transparency and understanding of how nominees are selected in each category.
Although it is uncertain whether this review will result in a change to the rules or process, Oscar watchers and Andrea Riseborough fans alike are hopeful that this new assessment will lead to a more inclusive and nuanced approach to the selection of nominations.
For now, supporters of the two campaigns recommend that Academy members continue to consider all performances carefully when making their choices and vote with their conscience. With any luck, the Academy’s review may mean that, in the future, exceptional performances, such as Andrea Riseborough’s work in The Irishman, will be fully recognised and have a greater chance of being honoured at the Oscars.