If you plan to tune in to the Oscar telecast on February 28, you will only hear three of the five nominees in the “Best Original Song” category performed during the broadcast. Contributions penned by Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lang as well as two-time Academy Award nominee J. Ralph (with lyrics by ANOHNI) will not be included in the lineup, Variety has reported:
The Oscar-nominated songs “Manta Ray,” from the documentary “Racing Extinction,” and “Simple Song #3,” from Paolo Sorrentino’s “Youth,” will not be performed on the 88th Academy Awards, Variety has learned. The reason, according to a source: “time constraints.”
During a year in which the Oscars have received strong criticism for their lack of diversity, this seems an especially odd move–not only in terms of the music itself, but also when considering that it means the absence of Korean soprano Sumi Jo and transgender performer ANOHNI.
The music and lyrics for “Simple Song #3” were composed by David Lang. This is his first nomination. “Manta Ray” features music by J. Ralph and lyrics by ANOHNI (formerly Antony Hegarty). This is the first nomination for ANOHNI and the second for J. Ralph. He was previously nominated for Chasing Ice (2012).
Update: ANOHNI has announced that she will boycott this year’s Academy Awards.