Oscars boss Laurence Mark has brushed off Peter Gabriel's decision not to perform at the Academy Awards, insisting it's just "a difference of opinion".
The British rocker was billed to perform Oscar-nominated song Down To Earth as part of next weekend's (22Feb09) telecast, but decided against it when he heard he would have to slash the six-minute song into 65 seconds.
In a video post on his website last week (ends13Feb09), Gabriel said, "It's a bit unfortunate. The songwriters are a very small part of the filmmaking process but we still work bloody hard."
And Mark insists he understands where Gabriel is coming from - but couldn't accommodate a six-minute tune.
He says, "We completely get where's he's coming from. It wasn't any sort of bad blood going on. It was just a difference of opinion of how he felt things needed to be done."
And to prove there are no hard feelings, Gabriel advised Oscars bosses to hire the Soweto Gospel Choir replace him.
Mark tells Eonline.com, "We're actually chatting with those guys. We think it's a lovely idea."