The big snafu at the Oscars was, of course, when Warren Beatty announced La La Land won Best Picture instead of Moonlight. But it wasn’t the only error last night: Trans actor Alexis Arquette was omitted from the annual “In Memoriam” segment.
— Todd Verow (@toddverow) February 27, 2017
Whether the omission was intentional or a mistake is not clear, but Arquette appeared in a number of major Hollywood films, including Pulp Fiction and The Wedding Singer, as well as critically lauded queer indies like Grief and Last Exit to Brooklyn.
— Benoît Loiseau (@benoitploiseau) February 27, 2017
Arquette passed away in September 2016 and, while she hadn’t appeared in high profile films in a while, others were acknowledged who hadn’t worked in decades. “A lot of the older honorees were Academy members, and the Academy always likes to acknowledge its own,” offered Brian Sloan, who directed Arquette in the gay romantic comedy I Think I Do.
Arquette’s sister, actress Patricia Arquette, says she was saddened about the omission.
“We’re living in a time right now where trans kids can’t even go to the bathroom in schools and they’re diminished in society,” the Boyhood actress told Vanity Fair. “It’s really unfortunate that the Oscars decided they couldn’t show a trans person who was such an important person in this community. Because ― trans kids ― it could have meant a lot to them.”
Other performers not acknowledged in the segment include Garry Shandling and Florence Henderson.
At the same time, producers accidentally ran a photo of Australian film producer Jan Chapman instead of costume designer Janet Patterson, who passed away in October. Patterson had been nominated for an Academy Award four times, for The Piano, Portrait of a Lady, Oscar and Lucina and Bright Star.
“I was devastated by the use of my image in place of my great friend and long-time collaborator Janet Patterson,” said Chapman, who also worked on The Piano. I had urged her agency to check any photograph which might be used and understand that they were told that the Academy had it covered.”