Ryan O’Neal gave a long interview to Radar Online in which he made it very clear how he felt about the Academy’s seemingly deliberate decision to exclude his deceased partner, Farrah Fawcett, from the in memoriam clip at Sunday’s Oscar ceremony. Fawcett and several other high profile celebrities who passed away last year were omitted, most notably Bea Arthur, (star of Golden Girls and Mame, I loved that movie!) and I’ve since heard about journalist Dominick Dunne and Tonight Show Host Ed McMahon also being forgotten. The Academy has issued several statements that amount to “we can’t fit everyone in, that’s the way it is,” and it sounds like an arrogant response from an organization that expects the public to sit through over three hours of industry back-slapping year after year. (Sadly, the ratings are up this year despite the relative lack of entertainment value in this year’s ceremony, especially compared to last year when Hugh Jackman hosted. You just know that they’re going to use that as a mandate to continue the boring, overlong status quo.)
O’Neal calls Farrah’s omission “a terrible decision” and “very hurtful,” noting that Farrah was a longterm member of the Academy. He says that he’s trying to get some sort of response from the Academy as to why the decision was made:
a“It was a terrible decision and very hurtful,” O’Neal said. “Farrah was a member of the Academy for over 40 years and we could not believe she did not get a mention.” Patrick Swayze, Michael Jackson and Brittany Murphy were included in the segment.
O’Neal also revealed that he and daughter Tatum O’Neal- who watched the ceremony together- intend to write a letter of protest.
“Both Tatum and I were very upset and we intend to write a letter to the Academy to try and get an explanation for this oversight on their behalf.”
RadarOnline.com spoke to Lesle Unger, a rep for the Academy, shortly after the awards ended. She explained that “there are many angles that are looked at as to who to include and unfortunately we don’t include everyone.”
Bruce Davis, the executive director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said days before that the segment was the most difficult to produce since they had to whittle over a hundred names down to around thirty.
O’Neal scoffed at the notion that Fawcett would not make that final cut: “They gave mentions to sound guys and other writers and without being disrespectful, Farrah Fawcett was an icon and a household name.
“Quite frankly, we were stunned at the decision not to include her in the tribute and I feel that the Academy should be scolded for that, everyone was shocked.”
[From Radar Online]
O’Neal was more reserved in his official statement. His rep told People that “There is no comment other than we were disappointed that she was not included.” Other celebrities tweeted that Farrah’s omission was a shame, including legendary critic Roger Ebert, who wrote “No Farrah Fawcett in the memorial tribute? Major fail,” and Jane Fonda, who tweeted “And where was Farrah Fawcett? She should have been included #oscars #FAIL.” As E! Online reports, The Academy is not likely to ever apologize. Farrah’s friend Craig Nevius says that the Academy is just going to wait and let this die down. “I think it would be very big of them to own up to the mistake, but I also think it might set a dangerous precedent for them, which is why they probably won’t do it.” Personally I would rather see a couple more minutes of memorial clips than sit through any of the technical awards, like sound editing and mixing, but as I said yesterday they’re not going to cut any of that. The Academy is way out of of touch.
Jaw-droppingly stupid. A dismal example of how out-of-touch the organizers are.
i can’t stand the oscars, lots of celebrities telling each other they love each other and pretending like what they do actually matters. this guy ryan, well i can understand why he’s annoyed because it is his wife but he’s basically saying that someone else (eg writer/sound person etc) should have been taken out and replaced with his wife because she’s more famous (read: more important.) jerk
I understand that they can only include so many people. But you can’t leave out a person like Farrah who everyone knows about and was in the spotlight.
Farrah was a household name. She should have been mentioned. Period.
Ryan makes me sick though. I feel he is using this platform to keep his name relevent. Yes, he is probably hurt, but he just seems like the biggest scumbag out there trying to make money off her even after her death. Let her rest in peace Ryan…
Why can’t they do all 100 names? It’s not like they couldn’t cut back on some other area of the night. I mean, these are people that contributed to the entertainment industry for years, they should be acknowledged.
I find scandalous that Farrah Fawcett is not named in the evening of Oscars, she made of the cinema and the television??? Or is the problem? It is not good! We are shocked!!! her fan to France VERONIQUE
You don’t leave out a legend.
The fans will remember this arrogance.
An apology should be in order by the Academy.
I find it ridiculous that the producers of of a FILM industry awards show tell us they can’t manage to fit in all of the people. They couldn’t figure out a way to edit the tribute differently? Adjust the time of each clip to fit more in? Have more than one person at a time on screen? Cut down on the time of having someone announced, walk out, speak about the tribute, etc and give those minutes to the memorial? Or not have unnecessary things like the dance performance or the horror movie montage, that had nothing to do with anything?
The omitted people last year, too, and gave the same arrogant reason. They’ll show a tribute to Michael Jackson, but not Farrah or Bea? What they should do is start out with the most famous, and then whittle down the least famous. Even a screen with the names written on it would be better than nothing. People watch the Oscars to see the famous faces. I’m sure that the non-famous people did great things, but that’s not why people watch, imo. (Of course, you’d have to pay me to sit through any of those kinds of awards shows. I catch up on this site after the fact. lol)
No non-famous people need to be omitted just to fit everyone in.
The speeches honouring the people already there for the sole purpose of being honoured (ie the speeeches ABOUT nominess)? Yeah maybe that kind of ass-kissing could go to honour the deceased.
Perhaps if they had cut that god awful interpretive dance garbage they would have had time. I just can not understand why they would include Brittany Murphy and Michael Jackson but exclude Farrah and especially Bea Arthur.
I’ll repeat it again – they throw in Michael Jackson and NOT Farrah or Bea! Unforgivable.
They included Britanny Murphy…well, okay, she was very good in Girl, Interrupted. But how is she more relevant than Farrah Fawcett? Farrah, who I remember from Extremities and The Burning Bed….she wasn’t just fluff, and deserved to be remembered.
Here’s the deal. First off you don’t get James Taylor to sing a 3 1/2 minute song for the tributes. Have the orchestra play it all out.. If it goes 7 mintues then so what.. Those were some of the people that had built this industry.
I’m pissed because thats the only thing I look forward to during the Awards
I also think the whole “We just didn’t have enough time” excuse is a crock of shite. Make the time! I like that they include non-actors in there, so I hope they don’t eliminate that. Maybe cut the actors gabbing about how awesome the best actor and actress nominees were. We already know they’re all awesome–why did we have to hear 10 people go on and on about how REALLY awesome the nominees are? That would’ve given the producers more than enough time to show everyone in the memorial.
And please don’t have James Taylor again. If you want a Beatles song, why not have a Beatle sing it? Paul McCartney was at the Golden Globes, maybe he woulda performed at the Oscars…
Like the Oscars have EVER cared about time.
I wasn’t really much of a Farrah Fawcett fan, but jeez, she was VERY well known celeb. And Bea Arthur? Un-fucking-forgiveable.
I still remember Farrah’s powerful performance opposite Robert Duvall in “The Apostle.” Her omission, and Bea Arthur’s (I also loved her in “Mame!”), was reprehensible, especially since the Academy found room for Michael Jackson (was he in any other films besides “The Wiz?”)
Just the fact that so many people are upset that Bea and Farrah were not included in the tribute, should show the Oscar organizers how much of a influence those two actresses had in the industry. They could not include the two of them but could include Michael Jackson? What a joke the Oscars have become
Hopefully Bea and Farrah are sitting at a table in heaven with Jonny Carson and Ed MacMahon (sp?),also didn’t he pass away this year around the same time and had been in “show biz” forever helping to give all the people a platform and a start? Back to my original thought, I hope Bea is giving the academy a “what for” and a few choice words, while Farrah blushes and Jonny and Ed laugh.
He’s right. But the Oscars are what the husband calls a ‘Circle Jerk’. Makes you embarrassed to actually watch it around him.
Farrah and Bea Arthur should have both been mentioned. The fact that Ryan is using her *again* for 15 minutes of fame *again* makes me sick.