HOLLYWOOD, CA – Citing unfair competition, as well as what’s called in the business, “a conflict of dramatis personae”, Meryl Streep announced today that she is disqualifying herself from this year’s Academy Awards ceremony.
In a statement issued through her reps, the always humble and contrite Ms. Streep was quoted as saying:
“As the single most talented actress of this, or any other generation, it would be wholly unfair for my name to be included in this year’s Oscar campaign. Recently, it has come to my attention that the stunningly brilliant performance I gave as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady has no equal or peer in the ‘Best Actress’ category. Therefore, and after much careful consideration, I must ask that you withdraw my name from competition. I just cannot, in good conscience, accept another nomination, or inevitable win, at this time. To the producers, distinguished academy members, and fellow lesser thespians, please accept my heartfelt apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. More Sincerely Than You, Meryl.”
Indeed, Ms. Streep has received a total of 16 Academy Award nominations, more than any other actor in history, with 2 wins. She has received a total of 26 Golden Globe nominations, again more than any other actor, with 8 wins, as well as 2 Emmys, 2 SAG Awards, a BAFTA, not to mention numerous other accolades. The only major acting award she hasn’t received yet is a Tony, but says she’s working to correct that error.
Tom Sherak, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said in a statement that he was, “obviously disappointed with Meryl’s decision, but not entirely surprised.” He also said that he hoped Ms. Streep would some day have more worthy challengers, so that at least future performances could be considered. A spokesman for AMPAS stated that they were also thinking of nicknaming the best actress statuette as, “The Meryl”, in her honor.
Industry reaction to the news was mixed. Several insiders were quoted as saying that having an Oscar celebration without Meryl is like having a jubilee without the Queen. Others praised the announcement, saying it would finally level the playing field for the remaining nominees. However, no one was willing to go on record with their opinions for fear of influencing academy voters or, more importantly, further angering certain Hollywood gods.
The 84th Academy Award nominations will be announced on Tuesday 5:30am PT, with the award ceremony broadcast live February 26th on ABC. Hosted by Billy Crystal.