Boots Riley says he didn’t campaign for Sorry To Bother You Oscar nominations

"Not doing that made it a self-fulfilling prophecy that we wouldn’t get nominated.”

January 23, 2019
Boots Riley says he didn’t campaign for <I>Sorry To Bother You</i> Oscar nominations Boots Riley attends the UK Premiere of Sorry To Bother You at the 62nd BFI London Film Festival on October 11, 2018 in London, England.   Jeff Spicer/Getty

When the nominations for this year's Academy Awards were announced on Tuesday many people were surprised to see Boots Riley's Sorry To Bother You snubbed in every category. The film, an anarchic and surreal satire featuring Lakeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson, was a critical smash in 2018. However, in a series of tweets posted after the Oscar nominations were made, director Riley stated that he opted out of running a full campaign aimed at getting the film nominated.

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“There are tons of ppl making statements this morning about what Sorry to Bother You not getting nominated says about the Academy and the film industry that I think are misconceptions that may affect what kinds of movies filmmakers think are possible to get made,” Riley wrote on Twitter.

Riley continued to explain the nature of the industry’s voting process. “The largest factor as to why we didn’t get nominated is that we didn’t actually run a campaign that aimed to get a nomination for Screenplay or Song. We didn’t buy For Your Consideration ads in the trade magazines and we didn’t service the whole academy with screeners.” He said he knew doing this would mean no recognition from the Academy. “Not doing that made it a self-fulfilling prophecy that we wouldn’t get nominated. So I had no actual belief that we would get nominated.”








Roma and The Favourite both picked up 10 nominations each ahead of this year's ceremony. A Star Is Born also earned multiple nominations, while Black Panther became the first superhero movie ever to be nominated for Best Picture. Spike Lee earned his first ever Best Director nomination for BlackKklansman, a movie Boots Riley previously criticized for its fictionalized narrative.

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Boots Riley says he didn’t campaign for Sorry To Bother You Oscar nominations