Though the Oscars telecast offered few other surprises, some observers are fuming over the omission of Farrah Fawcett, who died of cancer in June 2009, from the In Memoriam roll-call. Critics were quick to chastize the Academy, noting that the beloved "Charlie's Angels" TV star also worked in films: "They have a lot of 'splaining to do," tweeted Roger Ebert. Academy spokesperson Leslie Unger points that the Academy can't satisfy the expectations of every dead actor's fans: "It is impossible to include everybody." Was Fawcett's absence a glaring oversight?
Fawcett deserved the honor: It wasn't just Fawcett's "celebrity" that qualified her for the tribute, says Beth Harris in the AP. She had movie "credits" to match — from a role in sci-fi classic "Logan's Run" to a turn in Robert Altman's "Dr T and the Women." OK, she was "predominantly a TV actress," but Michael Jackson made the cut, and his "predominant medium" wasn't "theatrically released movies," either.
"The popular Mr Clooney and other Oscar vignettes"
You try deciding who makes the cut: The memorial section is always the "most troubling element" of the Oscars, says Bruce Davis, an Academy executive director quoted in the Daily Telegraph. Compiling the list of 30 stars is an "agonizing" task, he says, and there will always be notable absences. Fawcett's family should remember that just being in a movie "confers a certain amount of immortality." Her career was worth more than "a short clip sequence at one show."
"Oscars snub as Farrah Fawcett left out of in memoriam tribute"
The Academy is making a bad situation worse: Unger's official statement couldn't have been less sensitive to Fawcett's family and fans, says Zennie 62 at the San Francisco Chronicle? Fawcett made 19 movies, and should have been included. Why didn't the Academy just "issue a note of apology" and own up to its "horrible mistake."
"Academy Awards' words on Oscars Farrah Fawcett snub were horrible"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- China's leader is telling the People's Liberation Army to prepare for war
- The religious right isn't retreating — it's reforming
- How I lost all my money
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Why torture doesn't work: A definitive guide
- A brief history of the Christmas present
Subscribe to the Week