Academy sort-of apologizes for omitting Farrah Fawcett, explains Jackson inclusion

Farrah Fawcett Hospitalized - Los Angeles

In the ongoing saga of Farrah Fawcett’s exclusion from the In Memoriam segment at the Oscars on Sunday, we finally have a somewhat better explanation and maybe even an apology from the Academy. We’ve heard previous excuses from the Academy’s executive director and a separate spokesperson that amounted to “we don’t have enough time and can’t include everyone.” In light of the outrage over Farrah’s omission, executive director Bruce Davis is offering the reasoning behind the decision – Farrah was known more as a television actress and there were a lot of important people in the industry who passed last year. What’s more is that Michael Jackson was supposedly included because he was the star of the popular documentary This is It, released posthumously. That excuse is a little weak.

The executive director of the film academy said Tuesday that Farrah Fawcett wasn’t included in the Academy Awards’ In Memoriam segment because the actress was better known as a TV star.

It was a difficult decision for the committee that assembles the segment to omit Fawcett, said Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences executive director Bruce Davis, who added that he’s not surprised some fans and family members are upset.

Fawcett’s family issued a statement through a publicist Tuesday saying they were “deeply saddened” and “bereft with this exclusion of such an international icon who inspired so many for so many reasons.”

Davis said the academy committee debated about including Fawcett and Gene Barry, a longtime TV actor who died in December at age 90, in the memorial segment but ultimately omitted both.

Davis and his colleagues thought that while the two actors appeared in movies, they were better known for their “remarkable television work” and would be more appropriately honored by the television academy at the Emmy Awards.

The group “was kind of figuring that probably the Farrah Fawcett and Gene Barry omissions would be the ones we’d get the most comments on,” he said. He acknowledged that he “did get one letter about Miss Fawcett.”

The academy director said “an unusual number of extremely distinguished screenwriters” died this year, and the academy tried to honor many of them in the short memorial segment.

“In every category, you’re going to miss some wonderful people,” said Davis, who has helped assemble Oscar’s In Memoriam montage since it began in 1993.

When asked why Michael Jackson was included when actors were left out, Davis explained that Jackson had appeared in a popular theatrical film recently. Fawcett and Jackson both died on June 25.

“Think of all the blogging we would have gotten if we had left him out!” he said.

Still, he said he understands that the Fawcett and Barry omissions sting.

“There’s nothing you can say to people, particularly to family members, within a day or two of the show that helps at all,” Davis said. “They tend to be surprised and hurt, and we understand that and we’re sorry for it.”

[From Huffington Post]

I was willing to give these idiots the benefit of the doubt until the guy complained about bloggers. Now that everyone is on Facebook and Twitter there’s not much difference between “bloggers” and the opinion of the general public. This guy is trying to separate out the naysayers so that he doesn’t have to take criticism of the Oscars broadcast seriously. He also seems to be distancing himself from offering a sincere apology by saying “there’s nothing you can say” to grieving family anyway. He did say “we’re sorry” at least, even if it sounded half-hearted.

The Academy could have just sucked it up and admitted they were wrong to omit Farrah, but instead they continue to defend their decision. The thing that really sucks is that they managed to boost ratings despite a sub-par show by just adding five more films in the Best Picture category. Now they can continue to churn out a boring, industry-specific show year after year and dismiss legitimate complaints. It’s like they’re saying “this is the way we do it and we’re never going to change.” With this kind of attitude, I doubt that they’ll do even a marginally better job with either the In Memoriam broadcast or the long super boring ceremony next year.

Farrah Fawcett Hospitalized - Los Angeles

Farrah Fawcett dies at age 62

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26 Responses to “Academy sort-of apologizes for omitting Farrah Fawcett, explains Jackson inclusion”

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  1. Scout says:

    They left out Bea Arthur, too, didn’t they? At least that is what I heard – did not watch. Anyway, I assumed it was because Farrah and Bea were television stars not movie stars and sort of understood it. BUT if the choice were mine, I’d have included those two for sure. They have an enourmous fan base even now! As for Gene Barry, I was not even aware he passed away last year! Sorry to hear that – not sure how I missed it!

  2. bellaluna says:

    O-k-a-a-a-y. Nice half-ass, insincere apology, jerkface. Way to show you really don’t give a damn about what your viewing public thinks or wants. Now what about Bea Arthur?

    Say what you will, but Farrah and Bea were both in movies as well (Farrah I’m sure of; Bea I’m pretty sure of), so they should have been mentioned. Especially considering that Michael Jackson was in a movie INVOLUNTARILY, as it was assembled from concert rehearsal footage AFTER he died. And THAT’S the movie this Academy tool cites?!

    I sure hope people boycott the Oscars next year. I know I will.

  3. lucy2 says:

    I still call BS – these are film production professionals, they could have figured out a way to include everyone. Cut out other parts of the show, or edit the tribute better. It’s ridiculous that they’re claiming they can’t, and if you’re going to honor some, you should honor all, especially in such a collaborative industry.

  4. coconut says:

    I concur with bellaluna. She was in a few motion picture films, and was a mega star, period. I wasn’t even a big fan of hers, but I think it is inexcusable that they left her out…and at the same time included MJ with his borderline contribution to motion pictures. They couldn’t have added, say, a minute to the montage to add her? If she were a man would they have left her/him out?

  5. bellaluna says:

    @ lucy2 – Ditto. There were plenty of segments they could have cut or eliminated altogether to include everyone who made a contribution to the industry. Shame on them for acting like they just couldn’t fit in all the dead people, as if those who had the nerve to die inconvenienced them with their inconsiderate behaviour.

  6. Maritza says:

    It’s unforgivable! They mentioned people nobody even knew and they had the nerve not to mention Farah Fawcett. She did plenty of movies and was a well known actress. They should have included Bea Arthur as well, it wouldn’t have taken that much time.

  7. Tom Aten says:

    Time constraints are believeable, and trying to include everyone (especially those who crossed over TV and Film)would be a massive, but rewarding endeavor. What bothers me is: MJ (although being a very unique and talented artist in many venues) bought himself out of very questionable child welfare charges that everyone just seems to have dismissed as non-existant or unimportant. If MJ was a politician, think of the public outrage that he would have incurred. This is all about MONEY in my opinion. Just like the recent Supreme Court Decision. AND, I’m sick and tired of everyone (including himself) forgetting that Obama is half white. He is The President of The United States, and represents all of us.

  8. Feebee says:

    Lame-ass apology, even lamer excuse regarding Farrah but the lamest is left for the Michael Jackson reasoning. He wasn’t an actor or work in the film industry. Amazing music videos from 30 years ago don’t count. Neither does being the subject of a film documentary. If the Emmys are the right place for Farrah (and Bea) then the Grammys are the right place for Michael.

    The faces of the deceased were on the screen individually for what? Four secs or so. They couldn’t spare another 4, 8 or 12 seconds?

  9. Bren says:

    Don’t forget Jackson was in The Wiz

  10. meme says:

    i think i am the only one who doesn’t care.

  11. snowball says:

    Good points, Tom Aten. Well, up until that last bit about the Supreme Court that I can’t figure out what has to do with the Oscars.

    I wonder when Roman Polanski dies, will they have time to work him into their schedule?

    I get that they feel like they have to draw the line at including everyone who died, but considering what an icon Farrah was, ignoring her death but recognizing screenwriters who haven’t written anything for 40 years was ridiculous.

  12. djork says:

    Bruce Davis is a walking temper tantrum who rules through fear and intimidation and wouldn’t apologize for anything.

  13. Doe says:

    CB omiited any pictures of Barry on this article… Is that the same difference? Tisk tisk

  14. Anna says:

    Snowball, given Hollywood’s support of Polanski; they’ll give him a full scale tribute.

  15. Uncle Bob says:

    I find the omission of Farrah highly disrespectful to her beautiful memory and consider it to be a digusting display of incompetence on the part of the Academy! Clearly the task of building this tribute was left to a MENTAL MIDGET who has now done much to damage the sanctity of this portion of the ceremony. That this has occurred is, quite simply, indefensible and the lack of a sincere apology is nothing short of juvenlie! The Academy has truly embarrassed themselves and we can only hope that they learn something from this injustice such that this thing never repeats iteself in the future!!!

  16. Annicka says:

    Farrah Fawcett posed for a poster and played an angel for a few years. Her work compared to Michael Jackson’s work is a 15 minute blip. She didn’t do as much as him, why the hell should she be honored? Even if Michael Jackson didn’t do any film work, he was far more famous and loved than Farrah Fawcett. They shouldn’t have to apologize. Just because she was famous at all doesn’t mean she needs to be honored and remembered.

  17. murmur says:

    If Farrah would be remembered better at the Emmys, then Jackson would be better remembered at the Grammys, right?

  18. Tammy K says:

    Farrah Fawcett was in several big screen movies.
    They also left out Ricardo Montalban (sp?) he made 67 movies before he died. They should be ashamed!

  19. Zoe says:

    Sorry, but Michael Jackson’s contributions to film weren’t “borderline”. He pioneered the world of music videos by creating them in short film format, had one of the biggest grossing films of the year, and starred in several motion pictures, including The Wiz (1977). And frankly, he did far more than Farrah Fawcett with his career accomplishments. Hate on someone else.

  20. Mistral says:

    I concur with lucy2.

    Include everyone, or no one. I don’t want to see song and dance numbers, or half-assed “tributes” to the horror genre. I do, however, want to see the memorial montage. Also, I DO want to hear the speeches by the winners–no matter what the category–because I often find these endearing. They can include crappy Ben Stiller skits that go on and on without a laugh, but they can’t let some poor guy(s)/gal(s) who’ve toiled in the industry have their moments? I don’t care if I don’t know them, I like hearing them thank their wives/moms/etc. An awards show should be about the recipients. The end.

  21. lola says:

    Farrah Fawcett is well known and Respected even in Philippines esp, during the 70’s so, yeah! She deserve to be included being mentioned on the tribute.

  22. amar says:

    Gee based on that premise isnt Micheal Jackson more of a musician
    and Farrah was in at least 2 big git movies
    as for time the could have shortened John Hughes tribute
    also it ran over what was 30 seconds more

    poor taste just say we messed up
    see Ryan’s interview saying they were bracing themselves to see her picture

    sad sad sad

  23. CB Rawks says:

    That’s absolutely disgusting that they tried to talk their way out of it. Scumbags.

    Farrah and Bea Arthur were internationally known and loved ICONS, and not “just tv actresses”. Screw you, Academy.

  24. SW Artist says:

    If they included Michael Jackson, who was known mainly for his music (as well as his criminal trial), Farah Fawcett should also have been included in the memorial, since she DID act in movies. As well, Bea Arthur, Montalban and any other known ACTORS who crossed over last year should have been included. It would only have added seconds. Something else should have been cut to make room.


    Wouldn’t people have been shocked and appalled if Farah, Bea and other actors were put into music awards’ memorial and Michael Jackson left out?

  25. Stephen says:

    We lost a wonderful talent this year….Bea Arthur. The Oscar’s might have forgotten Bea but I haven’t.

    I found this clip of Miss Arthur’s final interview with Bea discussing her career in her own words. The clip also shows Betty White, Carol Channing and Phyllis Diller. I think it’s for a show called, “Lunching with a Legend.”

    I’d hate for a full interview with Bea or the other legendary ladies in the clip to go unseen.


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