Oscars Shock: Gong Eludes Lobbyist

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Host of the annual Oscars, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has snubbed a bid by lobbyist/councillor Bill Pickering to become the first recipient of a coveted gong in a new community category.

In the lead-up to today’s Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles, there was heavy speculation the Academy would introduce a category to recognise those “who achieved excellence in acting in miscellaneous community-related roles”.

Reports last month confirmed Pickering was the only nomination for the category after the Academy mailed several hundred prospects following a call for nominations from fans through its website.

Pickering’s now-famous performance involved a stint on the paramedics’ stretcher and in a neck brace after political rival Vic Tagg reacted to a year long campaign of provocation by Pickering with a misguided reflex action, that could only cause injury through lack of oxygen from uncontrollable laughter.

Set during a Ryde Council by-election last February, the elaborate display of performance involved his less-dedicated factional colleagues from the Liberal Party’s religious Right faction.

Their job was to deliver scripted accounts as the only ‘witnesses’ to the media. Despite providing reporters with three different versions of the performance’s centrepiece “coward’s punch” it worked, resulting in blanket coverage.

Even Media Watch got in on the act, running a story almost definitely provided by  Pickering or a Pickering theatrical assistant, to divert attention away from a real Media Watch story – the media’s lack of attention to detail that saw it fed a pup.

“I couldn’t believe it – all that was missing was lots of blood,” said one Putney resident, Bill Shamateur, who caught the performance aftermath.

“I saw him lying there, kind of lifeless and I said t my son: ‘this could improve his contribution to local issues, it looks as though he’s dead’.

“But seriously, he’s got some acting talent and he should follow his dreams to Hollywood or get his mates to arrange him a bit part in an evangelical flick or some Opus Dei production.”

Among the reporters that realised the media had been fooled by a brilliant display of raw street acting was Seven Network’s Robert Ovadia, who noted during a chat on Richard Glover’s afternoon radio show on ABC 702, that the picture of Pickering on the stretcher had been sent to media within 15 minutes of the performance.

Also raining on the parade was the duty doctor at Ryde Hospital, who wasn’t able to find as much as a scratch on Pickering. Did someone forget to send him the script?

Despite the impressive Pickering performance, it ultimately didn’t matter with the Academy making a last minute decision to defer introduction of the new community category until next year.

Meanwhile, there’s speculation NIDA may offer the lobbyist/councillor a scholarship, to allow him to hone his skills for roles requiring a sharia law-resistant robe.

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