What does the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have against music? First they only nominated three songs instead of five in the Best Original Song category -- omitting such obviously worthy choices as Bruce Springsteen's title number from The Wrestler -- and now they're drastically reducing the amount of time those three songs will get during the Oscar telecast. And Peter Gabriel won't stand for it!

Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood Daily is reporting that Gabriel, who co-wrote and sang "Down to Earth" in WALL-E, has backed out of the ceremony after the show's producers allotted him only 65 seconds to sing an abbreviated version of the song. Finke says the Oscar-runners have crammed all three tunes into a medley -- easy to do, since two of them are from the same movie, Slumdog Millionaire, and sound a lot alike anyway -- with each one getting somewhere between a minute and a minute and a half. Gabriel said no dice, and wrote a letter to the AMPAS telling them so -- an epistolary sledgehammer, if you will.

"I don't feel that is sufficient time to do the song justice, and I have decided to withdraw from performing," he wrote. "I fully respect and look forward to the producers' right to revamp the show. Even though song writers are small players in the filmmaking process, they are just as committed and work just as hard as the rest of the team, and I regret that this new version of the ceremony is being created in part at their expense."
categories Oscars, Awards, Cinematical