Every Oscar ceremony takes a break from all the jokes, musical numbers, awards and speeches to honor the industry members who passed away the previous year. It’s a somber, yet celebratory moment, remembering those who are gone, their memory and the legacy they left behind. Yet, like pretty much everything else associated with the Academy Awards, the 'In Memoriam' segment is not immune from controversy.
When someone is left out of the 'In Memoriam' reel, people take notice, and last night’s reel had some glaring omissions which fans are furious about, as EW has reported. Perhaps the biggest name missing from the reel was actress and comedian Carol Channing who passed away on January 15. As you can see below, her absence was noted.
Sometimes actors are omitted from the 'In Memoriam' reel because they had more significant careers in television, and Carol Channing was definitely better known for her work on the small screen. However, as this tweet highlights, Carol Channing was nominated for an Oscar herself in 1968 for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Carol Channing wasn’t the only omission though and as you would expect, Twitter was there to shame the Academy and offer some love to those who didn’t make the cut, including character actor Dick Miller. Take a look:
If you included everyone that was a part of the industry from craft services to studio execs, the Oscar ceremony would be a three-hour 'In Memoriam' reel. The Oscars seemingly give precedence to those who the viewing public (this is a TV show after all) would recognize.
As noted above, Dick Miller had 181 credits to his name, including films like Gremlins, Little Shop of Horrors, The Terminator and Small Soldiers. People may not know his name, but they should know his face. Dick Miller and Carol Channing were just the tip of the iceberg though and there were plenty of others omitted as well, as the following tweet illustrates.
R. Lee Ermey was in TV shows and lent his voice to video games, but is best known for being the drill sergeant in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket. Like Carol Channing, Sondra Locke was an Academy Award nominee. Austin Powers’ Verne Troyer was undoubtedly recognizable to audiences. When it comes to Stanley Donen, who directed Singin’ in the Rain, the omission may have been a matter of timing since he died on February 21 of this year.
Other names that have been mentioned on social media are actress Kaye Ballard, producer Andy Vajna, House of Cards actor Reg E. Cathy, actor John Mahoney, actor David Ogden Stiers, actor Harry Anderson, actress Julie Adams and director Jon Schnepp.
Sadly, no matter how long the ceremony is, someone will always be left out of the 'In Memoriam' reel. This is just one of the many things to discuss about last night’s ceremony, and if there is a silver lining to the omissions, perhaps it is that the fan outcry reminds the public of these people who are gone now and maybe encourages those unfamiliar with their work to discover it for the first time.
You can check out the 'In Memoriam' segment in the video below.
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