Singer and songwriter Peter Gabriel has decided not to perform ‘Down to Earth,’ his Oscar nominated song from the Pixar-Disney animated featured WALL’E, due to a dispute with producers.
According to Deadline Hollywood Daily, Gabriel took issue with the three Oscar-nominated songs being performed as a medley in which ‘Down to Earth’ was to be heard for only 65 seconds versus 90 for the other two nominees.
In a letter to the show’s producers, Gabriel wrote, “I was delighted when ‘Down to Earth’ was nominated for an Oscar. I was also pleased to have been asked to perform the song in the Oscar ceremony. However, in recent discussions with the producers, it became clear that despite there being only three nominees, only 60-65 seconds was being offered, and that was also in a medley of the three songs. I don’t feel that is sufficient time to do the song justice, and have decided to withdraw from performing.
“I fully respect and look forward to the producers’ right to revamp the show. Even though song writers are small players in the film making process, they are just as committed and work just as hard as the rest of the team and I regret that this new version of the ceremony is being created, in part, at their expense. I still very much look forward to attending the ceremony.”
The medley was reportedly a move on the producers’ part to rein in the length of the Oscars broadcast.
Gabriel co-wrote the music for the song with Thomas Newman, and wrote the lyrics himself. No word was forthcoming on who would perform the song in Gabriel’s place. There are only two other nominees in the Best Song category, “Jai Ho” and “O Saya”–both from Danny Boyle’s award-season frontrunner, Slumdog Miillionaire.