By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated February 18, 2003 01:00 PM

Oscar organizers are said to be worrying and wondering about Eminem performing his Best Song nominee, “Lose Yourself” from the film “8 Mile,” at the March 23 Academy Awards, given the Grammy-winning rapper’s reputation for spouting expletives.

Faced with that possibility, Oscarcast producer Gil Cates assured reporters late last week that “Eminem has an airplay version of that song,” and that is the version he will be expected to perform.

Calling the Academy Awards “a show for the family … and we’re very much aware of that,” Cates, 68, said, “We would not knowingly have anything on the show which would be offensive.”

Three years ago, the Academy found itself in a similar predicament when the song “Blame Canada,” from “South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut,” was nominated in the same category, given that some of its lyrics were considered not ready for prime time. The solution was to have Robin Williams, who delivered the song during the ceremony, gasp instead of blurting out the questionable phrases.

Meanwhile, in an interview with the TV show “Celebrity Justice,” Eminem’s mother, Debbie Nelson, says she fears for her son’s life, given how “scary” and “violent” the music industry is today and how seriously people take him.

As for Eminem’s malevolent lyrics about her, including those in “Cleaning Out My Closet,” she admits that “as a mom it bothers you a little bit,” but she considers the words to be his artistic expression.

Nelson, who received a small cash settlement when she sued Eminem over some nasty lyrics about her in the past, also tells the syndicated show that she has no relationship with her 30-year-old son, but she is not giving up on having one.