Hurt Locker co-producer Nicolas Chartier banned from Oscars

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A co-producer of the low-budget Iraq war drama The Hurt Locker has been barred from this weekend's Oscar ceremony for denigrating the film's main rival for the Best Picture award.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that Nicolas Chartier was being banned from Sunday’s awards show for "violating Academy campaigning standards" by sending e-mails to voters disparaging the 3D blockbuster Avatar.

The decision means that if, as widely expected, The Hurt Locker triumphs, the Frenchman will not be able to take to the stage at the Kodak Theater to accept his statuette beside the film’s three other producers but would have to pick it up at a later date.

In a separate development, a US Army sergeant announced a "multimillion-dollar lawsuit" against the makers of the film, claiming that its main character and situations were based on him and his service as a bomb disposal specialist in Iraq.

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