The best actress race has been one of the most competitive and controversial of the season, and it’s not losing steam headed into Oscar weekend. On Tuesday, Everything Everywhere all at Once‘s Michelle Yeoh shared, then deleted a Vogue article on her Instagram account which pondered whether her stiffest competition, Cate Blanchett, really needs to win a third career Oscar for Tár. In the process, Yeoh may have violated Academy rules.

Yeoh and Blanchett are considered the frontrunners in this year’s still too-close-to-call best actress race, with Blanchett taking home top honors at Critics Choice Awards and the BAFTAs and Yeoh triumphing at the SAG Awards and the Indie Spirit Awards. In the hours before Oscar voting closed, Yeoh shared and subsequently deleted a screenshot from a Vogue article headlined “It’s Been Over Two Decades Since We’ve Had a Non-White Best Actress Winner. Will That Change In 2023?” The story notes the historical lack of diversity in the category and wonders whether Blanchett—who won a best supporting actress for The Aviator in 2005 and best actress for Blue Jasmine in 2014—needs another statue.

“Detractors would say that Blanchett’s is the stronger performance — the acting veteran is, indisputably, incredible as the prolific conductor Lydia Tár — but it should be noted that she already has two Oscars,” read the screenshot from Yeoh’s now-deleted Instagram post. “A third would perhaps confirm her status as an industry titan but, considering her expansive and unparalleled body of work, are we still in need of yet more confirmation?”

“Meanwhile, for Yeoh, an Oscar would be life-changing: her name would forever be preceded by the phrase ‘Academy Award winner,’ and it should result in her getting meatier parts, after a decade of being criminally underused in Hollywood,” the screenshot continued. 

Per The Daily Beast, Yeoh’s deleted Instagram post may have violated the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s “References to Other Nominees” rule, which states that “casting a negative or derogatory light on a competing film or achievement will not be tolerated.” The organization’s bylaws clearly state, ”any tactic that singles out ‘the competition’ by name or titles is expressly forbidden.” It’s unclear, though, whether referring  to a piece of third-party journalism constitutes a violation.

Yeoh wouldn’t be the first best actress nominee this year to get into a bit of hot water with the Academy over social media. To Leslie‘s Andrea Riseborough was investigated by the Academy after a last minute, highly calculated, grassroots campaign landed her a surprise best actress nomination. While the Academy found “social media and outreach campaigning tactics that caused concern,” the organization ultimately determined that “the activity in question does not rise to the level that the film’s nomination should be rescinded,” and Riseborough kept her nomination. However, the Academy is reportedly considering “whether changes to the guidelines may be needed in a new era of social media and digital communication” as a result of the investigation.

For her part, Yeoh was unbothered by the Riseborough scandal. “The Academy has always prided itself on having regulations and playing by the rules, and if [cheating them] was so easy, it would have been done before,” said Yeoh after nominations were announced. “We are always evolving on how to protect our integrity, and I have great faith we will continue to do that.”

Yeoh did not immediately return Vanity Fair‘s request for comment. You can see which best actress nominee prevails when the Oscars air this Sunday, March 12th at 8 PM on ABC. 


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