Leaked Oscar-Winner List Is a "Complete Fraud"

Academy rep says purported leak is bogus and that such a list doesn't even exist

By Natalie Finn Feb 20, 2009 1:11 AMTags
Slumdog Millionaire, Milk, The Dark Knight, The Curious Case of Benjanmin Button, Frost/NixonFox Searchlight, Focus Features, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures

Yeah, yeah...the list of winners from the upcoming 81st Annual Academy Awards appears to have been leaked.

A document listing each Oscar category—with the name of a winner beside it—that appears to have been signed by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Sid Ganis has been making the Internet rounds, thereby spoiling...absolutely nothing.

"The document is a complete fraud," Academy spokeswoman Leslie Unger tells E! News in response to the purported awards-season leakage.

"PricewaterhouseCoopers is still counting the ballots, and there are only two people there who will know the complete list of winners in advance of the envelopes being opened during the ceremony," Unger says. "The Academy's president is not advised of the winners in advance, and no such list is created."

Not that we needed a prankster—or a crystal ball, for that matter—to tell us Slumdog Millionaire is going to win Best Picture on Sunday.

Besides, the final ballots issued to the 5,810 voting members of the Academy were not due back to Pricewaterhouse until last Friday, and the Oscar-giving organization specified that the results would immediately make their way into sealed envelopes—not a master list.

Which is a good thing, considering all the sticky fingers itching to post stuff online and spoil good fun these days, like the guy who tried to get a jump on the Oscar nods in 2000.

Nine years ago, Ain't It Cool News creator Harry Knowles posted a list of so-called preliminary selections the day before that year's nominees were to be announced.

He claimed the doc came from "deep within the halls" of the Academy, but in reality, all he posted was a list of guesses made by ABC.com journalists in advance of their Oscar night coverage.

Despite the discrepancies between his post and what the year's nominees turned out to be, Knowles maintained he got the list from an Academy-run site.

Also just as accurate was the star placed by Anne Hathaway's name on the Golden Globes' official website in January indicating she would be the winner for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama.

The Hollywood Foreign Press immediately characterized the errant star as a mistake—which it was. Kate Winslet pocketed the award—her second of the night, and who anticipated that?—for Revolutionary Road.