HomeAmerican EntertainmentAcademy Responds to Backlash After Leaving Anne Heche, Paul Sorvino and More Out of Oscars Memoriam

Academy Responds to Backlash After Leaving Anne Heche, Paul Sorvino and More Out of Oscars Memoriam

by Taylor Cunningham
Anne Heche
(Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has issued a statement on its decision to leave several late actors, including Anne Heche and Paul Sorvino, out of last night’s Oscars In Memoriam.

During last night’s live broadcast of the 95th annual event, the academy paid tribute to the people that Hollywood lost in 2022 in a special segment. Among those featured were Olivia Newton-John, Kirstie Alley, and Ray Liotta.

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The memoriam has become a tradition for the awards show, and it typically remembers most, if not all, of those the industry lost over the year. But the March 12 show left out several major players. Because of that, the academy felt a major backlash from both fans and others in film.

Today a spokesperson addressed the situation.

“The Academy receives hundreds of requests to include loved ones and industry colleagues in the Oscars In Memoriam segment,” they said in a statement, per TODAY. “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 A.frame mentioned was given to the fans during the aired segment. Lenny Kravitz took the stage to play Calling all Angels while the names and faces flashed on a screen. And during that time, viewers were also given a QR code that accessed a more accurate list. However, people are not satisfied with the efforts.

Paul Sorvino’s Widow Slams the Academy for Ignoring Her Husband, Anne Heche, and Dozens More

Dee Dee Sorvino, Paul Sorvino’s widow, was among those who spoke against the academy. In a statement to NBC, she slammed the Oscars for leaving out her husband and dozens more.

“Paul Sorvino was one of the greatest actors in cinematic history in Hollywood,” she said. “It is unconscionable that he would be left out of the ‘IN MEMORIAM’ segment of the Oscars. It’s a three-hour show, they can’t give a couple more minutes to get it right?”

“Paul was not the only deserving soul left out,” she continued. “And a QR Code is not acceptable. 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.”

Along with Anne Heche and Paul Sorvino, other notable stars left out of the live In Memoriam were Charlbi Dean (Triangle of Sadness), Cindy Williams (Laverne & Shirley), Phillip Baker Hall (Boogie Nights), and Tom Sizemore (Saving Private Ryan).