Top Gun: Maverick Oscar Nominations Stripped Because Of Ties With Russia?
Top Gun: Maverick is alleged by a Ukraine organization to have received financial backing from a Russian Oligarch that is being sanctioned, leading to the group calling for all of the film's nominations to be rescinded.
Top Gun: Maverick has been nominated for multiple Oscars, but Deadline is reporting that the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) has asked the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to review the film’s Oscar eligibility. The UWC’s open letter calls for the nominations to be reviewed due to reports that a Russian oligarch made contributions to the movie’s funding as a silent investor through the LA-based New Republic Pictures. The billionaire in question is Dimitry Rybolovlev, who is on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s list of sanctioned Russian businessmen.
The open letter alleges that Rybolovlev’s contributions may have led to the studios censoring any mention of Russia as the antagonist in Top Gun: Maverick. While these allegations are speculation, it is true that Russia is not depicted as an antagonist in the film. The film follows Tom Cruise‘s Pete “Maverick” Mitchell as he trains a new group of Top Gun pilots to go on a dangerous mission they may not come back from.
Top Gun: Maverick has been nominated for numerous Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Original Song, Best Sound, and Best Visual Effects. That would be a lot of nominations for the Academy to pull, and this is happening close to the actual live ceremony. It seems unlikely that the Academy would pull these nominations with the award ceremony right around the corner. Also, the voting for the Academy is already in, so it seems unlikely that this would affect the final results.
If they had to pull all of Top Gun: Maverick‘s nominations, they would likely need to recast all of their votes. With thousands of eligible members voting, this would probably not be easy. You also have to imagine that the Top Gun sequel is probably taking home at least a couple of those awards, like Best Sound and Best Film Editing.
The Deadline report says that a source familiar with the film’s funding reported that New Republic has no creative input into the content of films like Top Gun: Maverick. Of course, even if the allegations were true, they would probably say something like this. Regardless, it seems a little late in the game for anything to be done in regard to the film’s nominations.
Obviously, with Russia‘s ongoing and unwarranted invasion of Ukraine, this will be a heated issue. If there was direct Russian influence on films like Top Gun: Maverick, it may change perceptions of the film. While it doesn’t necessarily take away from the quality of the film, or its award-worthiness, it may leave a bad taste in some people’s mouths.
We’ll have to wait and see what happens and if Top Gun: Maverick manages to win any awards when the Oscars air this Sunday. The film was the highest-grossing domestic release this year, but it isn’t a favorite for major Oscars like Best Picture. Stay tuned for more news on this ongoing situation and more Oscar coverage.