Liza Minnelli was “forced” to appear in a wheelchair at the Oscars last month a close friend claims, leaving the star “very disappointed.”
Michael Feinstein, a musician and longtime collaborator of Minnelli’s said that her appearance at the end of the awards ceremony where she presented the Best Picture award with Lady Gaga amounted to “sabotage.”
Liza Minnelli Had Stipulated That She Would Only Appear at the Oscars if She Could Be Seated in a Director’s Chair, Not a Wheelchair.
“She only agreed to appear at the Oscars if she would be in a director’s chair because she’s been having back trouble,” Feinstein said in a recent interview on Sirius XM’s The Jess Cagle Show.
“She said, ‘I don’t want people to see me limping out there.’ She said, ‘You know, I want to look good. I don’t want people to worry about me,’” Minnelli’s friend also revealed.
The excitement around the Best Picture announcement was eclipsed by earlier events of the night when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage.
The slap caused chaos among the producers and crew of the live broadcast and had “shaken up” the original plans for Minnelli’s appearance, Feinstein claimed. Organizers abruptly switched the director’s chair for the wheelchair just minutes before Minnelli was set to go on stage. According to the musician, a stage manager informed Minnelli of the change and left it at that.
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Feinstein did not elaborate further about the original plan for Minnelli and it’s unclear if she was to be wheeled on stage and then put in the director’s chair or if she had intended to walk with an aid onto the stage where she would climb into the chair.
“She was nervous,” Feinstein said on the Jess Cagle Show, “and it made her look like she was out of it. Can you imagine being suddenly forced to be seen by millions of people the way you don’t want to be seen? That’s what happened to her.”
Feinstein and Minnelli have worked together often through the years. Most recently, they collaborated on a duet track for Feinstein’s latest album, Gershwin Country. The charming song is called “Embraceable You,” a fitting choice for these very close friends.
The audience at the awards ceremony and viewers at home were wowed by Minnelli and Gaga’s presentation despite the behind-the-scenes drama. Gaga and Minnelli have been friends for over a decade.
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Last month, a source, Minnelli’s former publicist, told People that her appearance at the Oscars was the direct result of Gaga. She had asked both Minnelli and producers for the program for the Cabaret star’s presence at the ceremony.
We’re sad to learn that the organizers of the ceremony did not respect the wishes of Minnelli, 76, who is suffering mobility issues. She should not have been carted around against her will.
Andrew is an Assistant Editor for Mamas Uncut with over ten years of experience as a writer in the creative, marketing, and blogging spaces. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a passion for telling stories in a variety of mediums. Obsessively making lists, reporting celebrity news, and diving into emerging pop cultural topics are a few of his interests.
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