Most will know “the Academy” as the organization which brings us the Oscar’s every year. Most winners thank “the Academy” for the honor.
Often embroiled in controversy for choosing best actors, movies, and other Hollywood-types based more on popularity than for talent, last Sunday’s show was supposed to have put much of that behind it. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences changed how votes were cast and some of the categories to do just that.
However, as with many things from so-called “La-La Land” – the Academy has been re-writing its version of science, which has landed it in a different kind of controversy.
Usually, after the Oscar’s, there is much debate about who won and who didn’t. This year, the controversy is over who died. Well not exactly – more to the point, which famous celebrities who have passed on should be honored and which should be excluded – if any?
The executive director of the Academy apologized today for intentionally leaving out Farrah Fawcett from the segment which pays tribute to Hollywood celebrities who have died in the past year.
Numerous agents, publicists and other Hollywood insiders were honored along with several big name celebs – but the Oscars snubbed one of television’s greatest icons, forever to be remembered as one of “Charlies’ Angels.”
Michael Jackson – who isn’t a movie or television star, but one of music – was honored at last Sunday’s Oscar tribute. But other famous faces including Gene Barry (from both versions of “War of the Worlds”) nor Bea Arthur (the gravely-voiced strong woman behind “Maud”) were ignored.
Bruce Davis, the person who’s been heading up the “in memoriam” segment since it began at the 1993 Oscar’s says he thought about including Farrah Fawcett, but as she was more of a television star, he felt the TV Academy Awards would be a better place to pay her tribute – and they did. He said they included Michael Jackson because he was the subject of a movie documentary.
It is like being that one kid that was always last to be picked to play on the baseball team, because neither of the two kids choosing players for their respective teams wanted that one kid on their team.
Kids can be cruel – but that’s because they are young and don’t know any better. When adults do it, is just mean spirited evil ill will.
We’re not talking about deciding who is the best actor in a dramatic supporting role – this isn’t a contest about who died better -- we all die. When someone famous passes away, we expect they will be honored in front of and by their peers, because that is just the right thing to do.
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences needs to either completely remove the memorial section from its Oscar awards, or stop using it to promote their own discreet social inner circle, and pay tribute to all famous faces that passed on.
Until then, the Oscar statues aren’t worth the gold they are plated with.