Why Was Song by Joni Eareckson Tada Disqualified from Academy Awards?

February 1, 2014 10:00 AM
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Kimberly Ripley

Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from New Hampshire. She loves her time with her husband, five children and two grandchildren, but lives for her escape each winter to sunny Fort Myers, Florida where she searches for seashells--and writes.

Joni Eareckson Tada learned on Thursday that her Academy Award nominated song Alone Yet Not Alone had been disqualified from winning as Oscar. It seemsone of the song’s writers–Bruce Broughton–had emailed a few Academy members, asking them to consider the song. That is completely against the rules, so during a meeting on Tuesday night, the Academy announced it was revoking the nomination.


Broughton, however, maintains that everyone nominated campaigns for Academy Awards. Some believe because Alone Yet Not Alone is a Christian song and performed by a noted Christian celebrity that it was the subject of harrassment.

Dr. Ted Baehr, the founder and publisher of the pro-family Movieguide and chairman of the Christian Film and Television Commission says it amounts to “hazing.”

“This guy did exactly what everybody else is doing,” on a much smaller scale, said Baehr of Bruce Broughton’s actions. Baehr also called the Academy’s explanation “duplicitous.”

“The Weinsteins are known for spending a lot of money to get Academy Awards,” Baehr said. “They’re members of the Academy. Nobody ever calls them and says the Weinsteins can’t come because they spent a lot of money.”

Harvey Weinstein is famous for “courting” Academy members, cold-calling them, screening films for them, and following up afterwards. His and his family’s 300+ Academy Award nominations have resulted from his tactics.

“The Academy has lost its appeal and it’s become deluged by voters who no longer represent the Golden Age of Hollywood,” Baehr said.

Joni Eareckson Tada is no doubt disappointed beyond belief. The pro-life evangelical quadriplegic with only 51 percent of her lung capacity was so excited when learning of the nomination just a couple of weeks ago.

“Can you imagine how this might encourage other people with disabilities?” she said. “It’s all about ‘God’s power in our weakness,’ and I love the chance to advance that message!”

“The Bible is filled with stories of God picking ill-equipped, unskilled people for places of great influence, which is how I feel, as a quadriplegic, singing an Academy Award-nominated song,” she added.

Joni Eareckson Tada has experienced far worse, but it’s sad to learn of what certainly sounds like a case of “money talks.” Perhaps this unfortunate incident will serve to shed light on the Academy and the unethical way in which some of the awards they hand out are bought and paid for throughout the year.

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