The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has defended a memorial tribute to late actors and performers set to air during the Oscars on Sunday after facing backlash for leaving some big names off the list.
Before the segment began, John Travolta gave a brief introduction and nodded to his “Grease” co-star and friend, Olivia Newton-John, who died in August at age 73. Lenny Kravitz performed the song “Calling All Angels”.
Tributes poured in from stars including Newton-John, Ray Liotta, Kirstie Alley, Robbie Coltrane and others. But the segment left some viewers wanting more.
actor lydia cornell Tweeted In response to the segment: “Can someone explain why this happens every year?”
The “Too Close for Comfort” star then listed some of the names she noticed, including Paul Sorvino, who died in July at age 83; Anne Heche, who died in August at age 53 from injuries sustained in a car accident; and Tom Sizemore, who died earlier this month at the age of 61 after suffering a brain aneurysm.
Sorvino’s wife, Dee Dee Sorvino, shared a statement with NBC News that criticized the exclusion of her husband from the tribute.
Paul Sorvino was one of the greatest actors in cinematic history in Hollywood. It is indecent that he would be left out of the ‘In Memoriam’ segment of the Oscars. It’s a three-hour show, can’t they spare a minute or two to get it right?” he said.
During Kravitz’s performance, viewers were able to scan a QR code that linked to a more robust online list of actors who died in the past year. The list includes Paul Sorvino, Heche and Sizemore.
Dee Dee Sorvino, who said her husband was “loved by all,” argued that the names listed online should have been shared during on-air segments as well.
“Paul was not the only person left, and a QR code is not acceptable. The Academy needs to apologize, admit fault, and do better. Paul Sorvino deserves better, the audience deserves better, is the Academy so tired?” Is it that they forget the people they love, who have given their heart to this industry? Shame on the Academy if this is not fixed. Mistakes happen, this was huge. Please fix it Do something to do,” she said.
Paul Sorvino’s daughter, Oscar-winning actor Mira Sorvino, also shared her disappointment in a tweet.
“It is shocking beyond belief that my dear father and so many other amazingly talented actors have been missed. The Oscars Forgot About Paul Sorvino, But The Rest Of Us Never Will!! she wrote.
Amid the backlash, a spokesperson for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released a statement.
“The Academy receives hundreds of requests to include loved ones and industry colleagues in the Oscars In Memoriam segment. An executive committee representing each branch considers the list and selects for broadcast based on the limited available time All presentations included frame and will be on site throughout the year,” the statement read.
Charlby Dean, who starred in the Oscar-nominated film “Triangle of Sadness” and died in August at age 32, was also among the actors listed online, but was not part of the in memoriam broadcast segment. Other actors who were left out of the on-air segment included “Lavern & Shirley” star Cindy Williams, who died in January at age 75, and “Boogie Nights” star Philip Baker Hall, who died at the age of 75. Died at the age of 90. june.