Academy Shuts Oscars Door on ‘Hurt Locker’ Producer

“The Hurt Locker” producer Nicolas Chartier will not personally witness whether his film would go on to beat “Avatar” in the race for the Best Picture at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards or Oscars. The Academy has prohibited Chartier from attending the ceremonies on March 7 as punishment for an inappropriate e-mail he had sent to friends, where he asked them not to vote for the “$ 500 million film,” in an apparent aside against James Cameron‘s Avatar. The Iraq war drama “The Hurt Locker” and “Avatar” are considered the frontrunners in the race for the coveted Best Picture award.

The Academy of Motion Picture, Arts, and Sciences said in its statement that Chartier’s action violated the Oscars’s strict campaigning rules. It also took issue of the producer’s disparaging comment about Avatar, citing a rule that prohibits “casting a negative or derogatory light on a competing film.”

Chartier has apologized for the faux pas, saying that his “ignorance of the rules and plain stupidity as a first-time nominee” was not an excuse.