How do you introduce your loved ones? There is this girl/boy and the not-so-unexpected one of these days, ‘There is this Dog.’ The furry creatures are undeniably the best companions. Their glory is not just around us; they have even reached the Oscars. Yes, you read that right, and it’s not an unusual thing to witness the presence of an animal at the biggest awards ceremony. However, this time, the Oscar’s similar anticipated moment has been called off. Messi, the scene-stealing border collie from best picture nominee Anatomy of a Fall and unlikely star of the 2024 Oscar campaign season, will not return to Los Angeles for Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony. 

Why will Messi the Dog won’t get to attend the Oscars ceremony?

Messi had an impressive impact on all the A-listers of Hollywood. He indeed established himself as a cannie star with his performance. However, unfortunately, according to a source at the Neon-distributed film, his presence at events like the annual nominees’ luncheon was a one-time occurrence. Alas! the actors who missed the opportunity to meet Messi have to look for opportunities to work with him in potential future film projects.

Messi featured in Anatomy of a Fall, which started his run on the awards circuit at the Cannes Film Festival. The film was honored with Palme d’Or. Interestingly, Messi also received his own unofficial prize — the Palm Dog. Previously, Messi’s trainer and dog mom, Laura Martin, told The Hollywood Reporter via translator Frederic Cassidy, “All of this attention began at Cannes. There were a few interviews in France,” Martin continued, “but what we’ve been experiencing here in America — with the attention to this dog and his acting — it’s beyond anything we anticipated. It’s probably the maximum that you can accomplish in this field.”

Messi’s presence at the Oscars nominees’ lunch pleased everyone in attendance. Martin said in a statement, recounting the enthralling moments the A-listers of Hollywood got to share with Messi. She said, “The big moment was with Billie Eilish, who bonded with Messi for almost 10 minutes. They were hugging and petting, and they really had a vibe. Then Bradley Cooper bumped into him in the hallway. The dog went right to him, so they also had a connection.”

Despite all the love and attention garnered by Messi, he was denied permission to attend the Oscars ceremony. According to a source with knowledge of the complaints, Multiple companies with nominated films complained to the Academy that allowing him to attend the event gave Anatomy of a Fall an advantage during the voting window.

Having a furry friend in the audience is not an unusual thing for the Academy Awards. Previously, Uggie, the late Parson Russell Terrier who starred opposite Jean Dujardin in The Artist, was on the stage when their film took best picture in 2012. However, now it seems like the Academy is rethinking the inclusion of animals at the event. The host of the Oscars, Jimmy Kimmel raised a logical point during a conversation regarding the involvement of animals at Oscars. He said, “The most notable thing that dog did was have a drug overdose and eat vomit. I don’t know if the Oscars has the appetite for that.”

The 96th Oscars are scheduled for 7 p.m. EDT on Sunday, March 10, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the show will be live on ABC.

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