Peter Gabriel has just pulled out of performing at the Academy Awards. His "Down to Earth" from WALL-E is one of three songs nominated for Original Song, along with "Jai Ho" and "O Saya" from SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE (Per Nikki Finke's DEADLINE HOLLYWOOD DAILY).
The show's producers, Larry Mark and Bill Condon, have plans to reduce the song segment further this year by putting together a medley of the three songs, reportedly giving each song 90 seconds sung by its original singer.
Gabriel said in a letter to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that he was only offered 65 seconds. "I don't feel that is sufficient time to do the song justice, and I have decided to withdraw from performing," Gabriel informed AMPAS. "I fully respect and look forward to the producers' right to revamp the show. Even though song writers are small players in the filmmaking 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."
The producers have promised an attempt to get the show's run time down to under three hours, and the medley idea is a way to cut time. A replacement singer for Gabriel has not been chosen.
The producers have promised an attempt to get the show's run time down to under three hours, and the medley idea is a way to cut time. A replacement singer for Gabriel has not been chosen, but VARIETY reports that the singer hopes to have the Soweto Gospel Choir perform the song.
Gabriel still plans to attend the Oscars on Feb. 22 in Hollywood.