A representative for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has defended the producers’ decision to omit Joan Rivers from the traditional In Memoriam segment at the Oscars last night, blaming time constraints for the snub.
Meryl Streep introduced the picture montage at Los Angeles’ Dolby Theatre and Jennifer Hudson performed after celebrities like Robin Williams, Lauren Bacall, Bob Hoskins, Mike Nichols, Mickey Rooney and Maya Angelou were remembered at Hollywood’s big night.
However, Rivers, who died in September, was notably absent from the tribute, prompting fans and celebrity friends alike to express their disappointment online.
The funnywoman’s Fashion Police co-presenter Kelly Osbourne was among those surprised by the omission and she took to Twitter.com to complain, writing, “Am I missing something or was @Joan_Rivers really left out of the #Oscars memorials?”.
An Oscars spokesperson has now responded to the uproar, claiming Rivers fell victim to time and space constraints for the live telecast, although she is featured in a tribute online.
The rep tells The Hollywood Reporter, “Joan Rivers is among the many worthy artists and filmmakers we were unfortunately unable to feature in the In Memoriam segment of this year’s Oscar show. She is, however, included in our In Memoriam gallery on Oscar.com.”
The controversy is the latest awards season snub for Rivers’ friends and family after she was also left out of a similar segment at the Grammy Awards earlier this month – despite posthumously winning her first Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for her memoir, Diary of a Mad Diva, at the ceremony.