Every year at the Academy Awards, an emotional tribute is held to recognize those lost in the film industry that year. 2015 marked an especially emotional time with big names including Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Williams, Bob Hoskins, and Richard Attenborough on the list. But, among those fallen there were a few very important names left out of the "In Memoriam" segment of the show. And many were especially upset that the iconic comedian Joan Rivers was left out of the video montage.
Social media erupted, news outlets were shocked, no one could believe that someone as well-known as Joan Rivers was not honored at the 2015 Oscars. Yes, she was a stand-up comic and TV personality, but she also made appearances in films such as The Muppets Take Manhattan and Spaceballs. So, in response an Academy representative spoke out. They responded to Rivers’ omission with a statement (via THR):
Joan Rivers is among the many worthy artists and filmmakers we were unfortunately unable to feature in the In Memoriam segment of this year's Oscar show. She is, however, included in our In Memoriam gallery on Oscar.com.
Really though, what a disgusting response. You didn’t have time to put in a couple more pictures? But come on, at least apologize. Why should anyone be left out? We understand there will be mistakes, and forgetful omissions, but how could someone forget Joan Rivers? If she were alive today she’d be loudly dissing dresses on the red carpet, she may have been tiny, but her voice was not one you’d easily forget.
It’s incredibly disappointing that someone like Rivers was not honored on such an important night. It was one of the most emotional yet, and with Meryl Streep starting the segment with a heart wrenching speech, it was a deep and worthy way of playing tribute to those lost last year. But, Rivers wasn’t even the only big name emitted from the tribute. I was shocked to see that there were four other talented actors and actress that didn’t make the cut including Elaine Stritch, Jan Hooks, Richard Kiel and Taylor Negron.
Elaine Stritch was a broadway legend. You may also recognize the name from 30 Rock (she played Alec Baldwin’s crazy mother). The actress appeared in the 1957 A Farewell to Arms, Monster in Law and two Woody Allen movies, September and Small Time Crooks. Jan Hooks is most well-known for her time on Saturday Night Live but she also appeared in films such as Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Simon Birch and Batman Returns. Richard Kiel who you’d most likely recognize as Jaws in the James Bond franchise also appeared in The Longest Yard, Happy Gilmore and Silver Streak. Finally, Taylor Negron, who was an incredible character actor with memorable TV roles on Seinfeld and Friends as well as films such as The Last Boy Scout and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. And these are only a few notable names, we are sure that if these major stars could be left out, than others probably were as well.
It’s disappointing that these actors and actresses be left out of a montage that recognizes and thanks them for the incredible work that they had given us. But more so, it is disappointing because it brings drama to something that should just play happy memory to all the wonderful people that help make the movies we so thoroughly enjoy.
Here’s the "In Memoriam" segment that played at last night’s Oscar ceremony.