Is Withdrawal of Christian Song From Oscars Religious Discrimination?
Probably not, according to industry insiders—including Christian filmmakers. The debate centers on the yo-yo Oscar nomination (for "Best Original Song") of "Alone, but Not Alone," as performed by prominent Christian Joni Eareckson Tada. The tune, featured in a relatively low-budget indie Christian film, beat out major talent for the nomination including Coldplay and Lana Del Rey.
But then (in an unusual move), the surprise hit's nomination was revoked by the Academy, the blame falling on unprofessional insider promotional practices from the song's music writer, actions "inconsistent with the Academy's promotional regulations."
According to filmmaker and industry expert Craig Detweiler, director of the Center for Entertainment, Media, and Culture at Pepperdine University:
… the disqualification of "Alone Yet Not Alone" has nothing to do with the faith-based nature of the song. Instead, he says, it is only about the film's lack of an advertising budget …
So how does all this intersect your congregation? While it's easy to interpret cultural run-ins as being strictly about our faith, often there's more under the surface. While Christians should by no means expect broader culture to welcome us with open arms, seeing bias where bias might not be postures us against mission.
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