There’s only so much you can do to predict what will go down at The Academy Awards—a reality that was highlighted thanks to what transpired when Chris Rock drew the ire of Will Smith in 2022.
With that said, the annual ceremony tends to follow a pattern that means you can usually mark off a few squares on your Oscars Bingo Card before the event officially begins each year.
That includes time-honored traditions like groan-inducing bits featuring the host and at least one unsuspecting A-lister, viewers reading way too much into the body language of someone who failed to win an award they were nominated for, and plenty of people getting Mad Online over the “In Memoriam” segment.
All of those boxes were checked at the 2023 Academy Awards—including the backlash we were treated to after a number of notable names didn’t make the cut in the segment devoted to remembering the actors, directors, producers, and other Hollywood figures who passed away in the year leading up to the Oscars.
That includes Goodfellas actor Paul Sorvino, whose absence was lamented by his daughter Mira as well as Michael Imperioli, who criticized the Academy for neglecting to include him in addition to Tony Sirico and Tom Sizemore.
Fans of Leslie Jordan and Anne Heche shared similar sentiments over their exclusion, and now, The Academy has issued a statement to address the backlash to the supposed snubs.
The organization behind the Oscars attempted to preemptively ward off the backlash with a QR code that allowed viewers to visit a website with a full list of names that included all of the aforementioned actors, and according to Yahoo, a spokesperson stressed that aspect while attempting to shed some light on how the final lineup was cemented:
“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 [online] and will remain on the site throughout the year.”
I can only assume they’ll be copying and pasting the same statement when the “In Memoriam” portion of the show inevitably sparks more controversy next year.