The Yellowjackets star took to Instagram on Friday to post a statement which has since been deleted, Deadline reported. In the statement, Ricci lashed out at the Academy's announcement that they would be reviewing Riseborough's Academy Award nomination for the indie film To Leslie, in which the British actress portrays a Texas woman who squanders her lottery winnings while dealing with alcoholism. Riseborough's nomination followed a word-of-mouth campaign in which her celebrity peers publicly praised her performance, an approach the Academy is now second-guessing.
Ricci, for one, is standing by Riseborough and the grassroots campaign that got her award season buzz.
“Seems hilarious that the ‘surprise nomination’ (meaning tons of money wasn’t spent to position this actress) of a legitimately brilliant performance is being met with an investigation,” Ricci wrote. “So it’s only the films and actors that can afford the campaigns that deserve recognition? Feels elitist and exclusive and frankly very backward to me.”
Ricci continued, noting that Riseborough herself had “nothing to do with the campaigning” for the nomination. However moving forward, "now her nomination will be tainted by this.”
“If it’s taken away shame on them," Ricci closed out her now-deleted post.
Last week, the Academy confirmed that it will be "conducting a review of the campaign procedures around this year’s nominees." However, they did not name To Leslie specifically. Instead, they stated they're working to "ensure that the Awards competition is conducted in a fair and ethical manner."
"We are committed to ensuring an inclusive awards process," the statement read. "We are conducting a review of the campaign procedures around this year’s nominees, to ensure that no guidelines were violated, and to inform us whether changes to the guidelines may be needed in a new era of social media and digital communication. We have confidence in the integrity of our nomination and voting procedures, and support genuine grassroots campaigns for outstanding performances."
The active support for To Leslie on social media from stars like Kate Winslet, Edward Norton and Gwyneth Paltrow appears to be the cause for the nod to undergo review, which some questioned as potentially "illegal." The review is meant to determine whether the nomination violated existing rules against lobbying for votes, Yahoo Entertainment previously reported.
The grassroots campaign to score Riseborough a nomination is said to have "seemingly pushed out" two actresses of color from scoring the nomination: Viola Davis for The Woman King, and Danielle Deadwyler for Till. Both stars "were backed by well-funded campaigns by Sony and MGM/Amazon, respectively, and were widely predicted to score honors, yet presumably do not have access to a network of powerful (and, let’s be honest, white) friends in the Academy to campaign for Oscars on their behalf," Puck writer Matt Belloni noted.
AMPAS's board of governors will meet on Tuesday, Jan. 31 to discuss the issue.
Riseborough initially said she was "astounded" to receive the nomination, Deadline reported following the announcement of the Oscar nominations.
"It’s such an unexpected ray of light. It was so hard to believe it might ever happen because we really hadn’t been in the running for anything else," Riseborough said. "Even though we had a lot of support, the idea it might actually happen seemed so far away."