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Michelle Yeoh deletes post that some saw as a jab at fellow Oscar nominee Cate Blanchett

Michelle Yeoh posted an article about diversity in the 2023 Oscars race for the lead actress on Tuesday, but quickly deleted it after some commenters declared it a slight against her main competitor for the award, Cate Blanchett.

By the daily beast, On his Instagram, Yeoh posted nine screenshots of a fashion item titled “It’s been over two decades since we’ve had a non-white Best Actress winner. Will that change in 2023?” The writer compared the likely effects of a win on favorites Blanchett and Yeoh, saying the honor for Yeoh’s performance in “Everything Everywhere All at Once” would be “life-changing.”

The rub? One of Yeoh’s screenshots included a section of the article suggesting that Blanchett, a two-time Oscar winner and nominee for her work on “Tár,” doesn’t exactly need another Academy Award.

In his since-deleted post, Yeoh quoted his own 2023 SAG Awards acceptance speech in his caption, according to the post. audiovisual clubwriting, “This isn’t just for me, it’s for all girls who look like me” and “We want to be seen, we want to be heard.”

That raised a theoretical problem. the film academy Oscar campaign rules prohibit “attempting to cast a negative or derogatory light” by anyone associated with an eligible film. “In particular, any tactic that singles out ‘competitors,'” that is, another nominee, “by his name or position is expressly prohibited.” A violation carries a one-year membership suspension for first-time offenders and the threat of permanent expulsion from the academy for repeat offenders.

The Oscar voting period, which began on March 2, closed Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. PT, just hours after Yeoh’s post went live, the Daily Beast said. It’s unclear if the academy’s regulations apply once voting closes.

It’s also unclear whether Yeoh, by calling attention to a diversity article, is “casting a negative or derogatory light” on anyone other than academy voters, though he argued that a Yeoh win would be “more meaningful” than another for Blanchett.

Representatives for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which presents the Oscars, did not respond Wednesday to The Times’s request for comment. Yeoh’s representatives declined to comment.

The Vogue article, written by Radhika Seth, addressed what she called the “disconcerting” fact that every Oscar-winning leading actress since Halle Berry’s 2002 win has been white.

“Yeoh and Blanchett are now neck-and-neck as they head into the Oscars, and anyone can guess who will be elevated in the final days of voting,” Vogue said, citing Blanchett’s Critics Choice and BAFTA wins and the Yeoh’s wins at the SAG and Golden Globe Awards. “However, it is undeniable that a win for Yeoh would be supremely well-deserved and infinitely more significant.”

For what it’s worth, the two veteran actors appear to be fans of each other. speaking with variety for their “Actors on Actors” series in December, there was no shortage of praise for each other.

“There is something in your presence,” Blanchett told Yeoh. “You only have this aura.”

To which Yeoh replied, “Oh my gosh. I have loved you since your first film and have followed you to the end, all with deep respect and, well, envy.”

As for Yeoh’s deleted post, a rule-breaking just days before the Academy Awards is highly unlikely after no foul was done surrounding Andrea Riseborough’s celebrity-driven nomination at the same time. category.

Riseborough’s surprise lead actress nomination, which came after a controversial campaign that caused surprise, had Oscar watchers concerned that the rules had been broken. The academy disagreed.

“The Academy has determined that the activity in question does not rise to the level that the film’s nomination should be rescinded,” Academy CEO Bill Kramer wrote in a statement. “However, we discovered social media and outreach campaign tactics that caused concern. These tactics are being addressed directly with the responsible parties.”

Kramer said the organization will work to clarify its regulations ahead of the 2024 competition.

Shortly after that claim went mainstream, an anonymous academy insider told The Times’ Glenn Whipp that Riseborough and his team “did nothing wrong, apart from running an unconventional campaign that eluded the Oscars machine.”

The academy member continued: “She absolutely deserved the nomination, and I’ve heard from a lot of friends who have seen the movie since all this stupidity broke out, and they all agree. And you know what? I think she could win!”

The 2023 Oscars will be handed out in Hollywood on Sunday starting at 5 p.m. Pacific time. The ceremony will be televised on ABC.