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'Hurt Locker' producer breaks Academy rules with campaign email

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A producer of The Hurt Locker is in hot water after sending out an email to Hollywood insiders encouraging them to vote for his film for the Best Picture Oscar — and disparaging Avatar in the process. Nicolas Chartier, who through his company Voltage Pictures helped with the financing for The Hurt Locker, composed an email, obtained by Pete Hammond over at The Envelope, encouraging Academy voters to spread the word about his film, saying that “if everyone tells one or two of their friends, we will win and not a $500M film.” Such an email is in violation of the Academy’s campaign rules. Now, Chartier (who is listed as one of the film’s four nominated producers alongside Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal) has sent a follow-up apology message, saying “My naivete, ignorance of the rules and plain stupidity as a first time nominee is not an excuse for this behavior and I strongly regret it.” The Academy has not announced what, if any, punishment it will impose on Chartier; one possibility is the loss of seats to the ceremony on March 7. Either way, the last week of the Oscar season just wouldn’t be the last week of the Oscar season without some campaign controversy.

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