Contrary to news reports that President Bill Clinton was presented with an "Honorary Oscar" by California Governor Gray Davis at an August 14 party at Paramount Studios, the Academy said today that it had not been aware that any such presentation was being contemplated and had not provided a statuette for the ceremony.
"Both in its bylaws and in 72 years' worth of careful practice," Academy President Robert Rehme noted, "the Academy is resolutely non-political.
"Our understanding is that someone on the Paramount lot gave a fiberglass prop statuette to the governor, who was looking for a light note on which to introduce the president. Unfortunately the prop looks to have been an awfully accurate counterfeit, and it was identified as an Oscar(R).
"We have full respect for both the presenter and the recipient of last
evening's 'award,' but we also want to make sure the public understands that the motion picture industry's highest accolade can be awarded only by the artists who make up the Academy, and only for accomplishments relating to motion pictures."