Bob Yari's Bid for Oscar Credit Crashes at Appeals CourtFri Mar 28, 2008 @ 01:14PM PST
Posted by Matthew Heller
At least one case involving what may be one of the most litigated films in Hollywood history may finally be over as a California appeals court refused to retroactively award producer Bob Yari an Oscar for his work on "Crash."
The litigious Yari, one of six credited "Crash" producers, sued both the Producers Guild and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for shutting him out of the 2006 best picture Oscar presentation, which went to two of the film's other producers. The alleged snub, he claimed, unfairly deprived him of his rightful creative recognition, relegating him to a "mere money man."
But a trial judge dismissed the case for failure to state a claim and the 2nd District Court of Appeal affirmed in an opinion released this week, finding that the common law right of fair procedure "does not apply to the decisions private organizations such as these defendants make about their own awards ... [T]he right applies only to private decisions which can effectively deprive an individual of the ability to practice a trade or profession."
The court also didn't buy Yari's argument that the Academy had a fair procedure duty as a "quasi-public institution" which "provides numerous important public services to the public," including the Oscars. "[T]he movie industry is an important industry, and movies may affect the ways in which people view the world," it said, but "That does not mean that industry-related organizations like defendants operate in the public interest."
As THR's Leslie Simmons reports, Yari probably won't pursue the case further. He has also been involved in litigation with other "Crash" producers over the distribution of the film's profits and with director Paul Haggis over contingent compensation.