A joke about the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US was reportedly deleted from French actor Jean Dujardin's new film in order to protect his chances of winning an Oscar.
Dujardin, who stars in the silent comedy The Artist, took out the top gong at the Academy Awards on Monday.
But according to French magazine Le Point, the outcome could have been very different if a 9/11 gag made in the movie Les Infideles (The Players), which Dujardin produced and acted in, was not axed.
In the film, which Dujardin is currently promoting in France, the Oscar winner plays an unfaithful New York husband who takes a girlfriend to a hotel room.
The controversial scene begins with Dujardin speaking to his wife on the phone from the hotel with his back to the window, where an aeroplane can be seen flying into the World Trade Centre.
Seemingly oblivious to the terrorist atrocity unfolding outside, in which 3000 people died, Dujardin says to his wife: "Yes, yes, my darling, everything is fine!"
Le Point magazine reported the sketch "could have been fatal" to Dujardin's chances of success but instead his "little secret was kept right until the end".
"The actor and co-producer of Les Infideles indeed feared that the world of American cinema would take offence to the short scene," the magazine said.
Local media reported a source close to the makers of Les Infideles that the scene was cut from the movie.
"Yes, the scene was considered too much for America. It would have been provocative, especially in the run up to the Oscars and other awards," the source was quoted as saying.