The volume of a rallying cry to update the Academy Awards has steadily increased over the last few years. Some audience and academy members have been vocal about their desire to see the Oscars award institution reflect the changes of our rapidly modernizing world after over 90 years of ceremonies. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences faces a legal suit initiated by "Erin Brockovich" and "Contagion" producer Michael Shamberg. Partner James Sammataro discussed the litigation with The Wrap recently. The publication noted:

[One] veteran media lawyer told TheWrap that what Shamberg really wants is "procedural justice," for a judge to provide an advisory opinion on whether the Academy complied with its own bylaws.

"It seems like kind of a philosophical battle, but the lawsuit is not really about social media or how they go about social media or liken themselves to the Golden Globes to become more relevant, the lawsuit is about: Has the procedure been followed and can Michael force them to follow the procedure?" said James Sammataro, a partner at Pryor Cashman and co-chair of the firm's media and entertainment practice.

Sammataro said at first glance it felt "tone deaf" to file such a complaint during a pandemic, but he saw things differently upon reading it. "Here's a guy who really cares about the declining Academy that in his mind is losing touch, is not connecting with audiences," Sammataro said. "He seems genuinely concerned with the vitality and relevance of the Academy, and it sounds like he had no other option but to go out on the front lawn and scream his concerns."

Read the full article, "Why Producer Michael Shamberg Sued the Oscars Academy: 'They Don't Want to Listen to Anybody'" on The Wrap website. 

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