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.