Why there was no Oscars tribute to Farrah Fawcett
The Oscar ceremony organisers defend their omission of the late TV actress
An executive director of the Academy Awards has been forced to publicly defend the decision not to include a tribute to the late Farrah Fawcett in Sunday night's Oscars ceremony, blaming a run on screenwriter deaths.
The family of the Charlie's Angels actress have said they were "deeply saddened" by the omission of Fawcett, who died last year at the age of 62.
Bruce Davis, who has been involved in putting together the in memoriam section of the awards every year since it was first conceived in 1993, said the Academy had discussed including Fawcett - and another well-known television actor, Gene Barry - in the segment.
But, because an "unusual number of extremely distinguished screenwriters" died in the previous year, the decision was taken to leave their tributes out.
Because Fawcett is best known for her "remarkable television work", Davis said, she would more appropriately be honoured at the Emmy awards, later this year. He said he sympathised with the families of people omitted from the in memoriam: "There's nothing you can say to people, particularly to family members, within a day or two of the show that helps at all.
"They tend to be surprised and hurt, and we understand that and we're sorry for it."
Farrah Fawcett died of cancer on the same day – June 25, 2009 – as Michael Jackson. The King of Pop did, however, make it to the Oscar ceremony's tribute montage.
Asked why, Davis said it was because Jackson had recently appeared in a popular theatrical film. The irony of this defence is that the film, Michael Jackson's This is It, is essentially a posthumous tribute to the singer – compiled from rehearsal and concert footage after his death. ·
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