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Luke Perry

Gone and Forgotten After Oscars 'In Memoriam' Snub

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By Brian Hurwitz

Every year, the Academy Awards includes an "In Memoriam" segment as a tribute to industry professionals who passed away over the course of the previous year. It has evolved into one of the more memorable and touching moments of the telecast. But as with every other part of the show, it is not without controversy owing to a number of worthy names being regularly omitted. Although the Academy regularly points to time constraint, and not negligence, as the culprit, it's difficult to imagine how the inclusion of some extra photographs or clips would've resulted in interminably long run time. The fact that these individuals were not memorialized by the Academy is all the more vexing when you're faced with even a partial list of those who did not make the cut over the past few years.

Sid Haig
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In 1994, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences created the "In Memoriam" segment of the show to honor dearly departed professionals from every area of the industry. Amongst those included are costume designers, choreographers, casting agents and, of course, actors. Weeks before the show, every branch of the Academy is asked to submit a list of names of those they believe worthy of inclusion during the segment. Understandably, not all of them make the cut. Some omissions, however, are more notable than others.

Kobe Bryant
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During the most recent Oscars ceremony, former teen idol Luke Perry was not included in the segment. It was especially concerning to his fans considering Perry had appeared in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which had been nominated for Best Picture of the Year. Additionally, the Academy neglected to include, popular character actor Sid Haig, 80s heartthrob Jan-Michael Vincent and up and coming actor Cameron Boyce. The Academy's inclusion of recently deceased superstar Kobe Bryant caused no less controversy, as the late Laker great had won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film in 2018 but will primarily be remembered as one of the great basketball players of all time.

Adam West
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The same year that Bryant took home his Oscar saw just as many glaring omissions from "In Memoriam." Amongst them were Adam West, former teen idol David Cassidy and country superstar Glen Campbell. The latter's slight was deemed particularly egregious, as Campbell's "I'm Not Gonna Miss You," chronicling the late singer's battle with Alzheimer's, had been nominated for Best Song only a few years earlier. In 2017, comedic great Garry Shandling, iconic action star Robert Vaughn and five-time Emmy winner Doris Roberts were left out of the segment.

Joan Rivers
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In the years prior to that, the Academy failed to include such luminaries as the legendary comedienne and TV hostess Joan Rivers, 80s movie star Corey Haim and Broadway legend Elaine Stritch. Currently, whenever the Academy faces backlash for their failure to showcase anyone the public considers notable enough to merit inclusion they direct them to their website's 'In Memoriam gallery' which is under no time constraints. Amongst the names in that gallery are Australian producer Jan Chapman who, in many eyes, was on the receiving end of the greatest slight in the history of 'In Memoriam.' Unlike the rest, Chapman was included during the telecast's 2017 segment. The problem, however, was that during that telecast Chapman was still very much alive.

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