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'Hurt Locker' producer apologizes for e-mails

March 1, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
One of the producers of the Oscar-nominated film "The Hurt Locker" could be in big trouble with the Academy.Nicolas Chartier reportedly sent out e-mails urging Academy members to vote for his movie in the best-picture race and "not a $500 million film" - an obvious reference to close-competitor "Avatar."

That's a violation of Academy rules against disparaging other films.

The Academy could censure Chartier, take away his Oscar tickets, or even remove "The Hurt Locker" from best-picture consideration, although that appears unlikely.

With Oscar ballots due Tuesday, the controversy surrounding Chartier's actions may have little effect on the March 7 Academy Awards because most voters have already mailed in their ballots, said one of the academy members.

"Hurt Locker" distributor Summit Pictures said in a statement it was "completely unaware of any e-mails that were sent until we were alerted by the academy earlier this week."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.