Awards show scandal! Three of five judges from London’s 2013 Evening Standard Theatre Awards have resigned, claiming The Audience star Helen Mirren did not win the award for Best Actress fairly, The Guardian reports. The judges state that two of her fellow nominees received more votes than the stage and screen star, but Evening Standard editor Sarah Sands and theater critic Henry Hitchings stepped in to change the final outcome.
"In discussion about what was a dead heat, Henry and I decided that we would go for an option that would make Helen Mirren the winner," Sands told U.K.’s The Times. "By doing a first and second vote we could balance the two factions with a third option, which is what happened. It was an absolutely legitimate choice."
Three judges, however—The Observer’s Susannah Clapp, The Mail on Sunday’s Georgina Brown and the Telegraph’s Charles Spencer—disagree with the decision. “In the case of the Best Actress award, I simply don’t understand how the result was reached,” Clapp explained. In addition to Mirren, the Best Actress nominee shortlist featured Linda Bassett, Lesley Manville, Billie Piper and Kristin Scott Thomas.
Mirren’s performance as Queen Elizabeth II garnered rave reviews at London’s Gielgud Theatre in 2013. The actress is accustomed to winning trophies for her royal performance—she won the Academy Award for her role in the 2006 film The Queen. The Audience is rumored to be transferring to Broadway in 2014, with Mirren reprising her acclaimed role—please don’t tell us this awards kerfuffle will keep the Queen from making an appearance in the Big Apple! We’re still honored to have you, Your Majesty, Best Actress win or not.