Oscars Receives Criticism After Several Big Names Left Out of ‘In Memoriam’ Segment; Spokesperson for the Academy Awards Responds

The Oscars is always a special night for everyone in the film industry as some of the biggest names are honored for their brilliance in front of or behind the camera. It’s not only a moment to celebrate those that are nominated for awards, but also a moment to honor the many lives that were lost over the past year. 

While that was the case during the 95th Academy Awards, many viewers were quick to criticize the Academy for their lack of due diligence during the ‘In Memoriam’ segment, where viewers watched a four-minute video that honored some of those in the industry that passed away in 2022 and early-2023. 

They certainly did right by a lot of actors, actresses, directors, and other crew members – including a touching introduction by John Travolta, who honored his late friend Olivia Newton-John, and a heartfelt performance by Lenny Kravitz. Unfortunately, several big names were snubbed from the on-air segment.

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Some of the bigger names that were missing from the segment included Paul Sorvino (died on July 25, 2022 at the age of 83), Anne Heche (died on August 11, 2022 at the age of 53), Tom Sizemore (died on March 3, 2023 at the age of 61), Charlbi Dean (died on August 29, 2022 at the age of 32), and more. 

Paul Sorvino’s family were some of the harshest critics amid the flurry of backlash aimed at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In a statement released by his wife, Dee Dee Sorvino called her late husband ‘one of the greatest actors in cinematic history’ and said his exclusion was ‘unconscionable.’ 

“The Academy needs to issue an apology, admit the mistake and do better. Paul Sorvino deserves better, the audience deserves better, is the Academy so jaded they forget people who are loved, who have given their hearts to this industry? Shame on the Academy if this is not corrected,” Dee Dee continued. 

Sorvino’s daughter, Mira Sorvino – who won an Oscar herself – was also vocal of her father’s exclusion. She originally shared a video of her Oscars’ win, which she attended with her parents, but didn’t know of the exclusion at the time of posting. She later took to Twitter to announce her displeasure with it all. 

“It is baffling beyond belief that my beloved father and many other amazing brilliant departed actors were left out. The Oscars forgot about Paul Sorvino, but the rest of us never will!!” Mira wrote on Twitter. In a separate tweet, she wrote “I for one am remembering Dad on this Oscars night…” 

Oscars’ Spokesperson Responds to Criticism and Backlash

In the wake of the criticism over those that were left out of the on-air ‘In Memoriam’ segment on Sunday, one spokesperson for the Oscars and Academy offered an explanation. While many were excluded from the on-air segment, there’s an in-depth and full list available online, where the names above are found. 

“The Academy receives hundreds of requests to include loved ones and industry colleagues in the Oscars In Memoriam segment. An executive committee representing every branch considers the list and makes selections for the telecast based on limited available time. All the submissions are included on A.frame and will remain on the site throughout the year,” the spokesperson said.

All in all, there are 270 actors, actresses, directors, crew members, and more listed online – including Paul Sorvino, Anne Heche, Charlbi Dean, Tom Sizemore, and some of the others not included in the on-air segment (Cindy Williams, Philip Baker Hall, etc.). Still, the criticism and backlash continued. 

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Lydia Cornell, who is best known for her early-1980s role as Sara Rush in Too Close for Comfort, took to Twitter to point out how this isn’t the first time the Oscars has excluded worthy names from the segment. “Can anyone explain why this happens every year?” she asked – a sentiment shared by many. 

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