Johnny Nunez/Getty Images
Peter Gabriel won't be in your—or anyone else's—eyes come Oscar night.
The singer has pulled out of performing his Best Song nomination on the awards show after producers, in one of their many concerted efforts this year to increase telecast ratings and otherwise shake things up, limited him to just 65 seconds on stage.
His nominated tune, "Down to Earth" from Wall-E, clocks in at just under six minutes.
"I'm an old fart and it's not going to do me any harm to make a little protest," Gabriel said in a video posted to his Website. "But the ceremony should be fun and I'm looking forward to it."
In his place, Gabriel said he hopes the Soweto Gospel Choir would step in to perform the highly condensed version of the song, which is expected to be performed as part of a medley with the other two Best Song nominees, A.R. Rahman's "Jai Ho" and "O Saya," both from Slumdog Millionaire.
"I do think it's a bit unfortunate," Gabriel said of producers' decision to shoehorn the songs into one performance. "The songwriters, even though they're a small part of the filmmaking process, we still work bloody hard and I think deserve a place in the ceremony as well."
Despite his decision not to take to the stage, Gabriel will still be in attendance at the 81st Annual Academy Awards Feb. 22. The Academy has yet to comment on Gabriel's withdrawal.