The 2020 Oscars caused a bit of a stir when it came to the awards ceremony's annual "In Memoriam" sequence. The montage of clips and photos dedicated to those who passed away in Hollywood since 2019 was missing some big names; however, the one that stood out the most to viewers was no doubt the omission of Luke Perry, who died in March 2019 at age 52, following a massive stroke. As a beloved actor and heartthrob for millions of fans, Perry not being remembered by the Oscars (alongside multiple others) was a grievous oversight. Now the Oscars is addressing the situation, in a newly released statement:
"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," the Academy said in a statement. "All the submissions are included on Oscar.com and will remain on the site throughout the year. Luke Perry and Cameron Boyce are remembered in the Oscar.com gallery."
While that may clear up any notion that The Academy forgot Luke Perry entirely, it also creates a different sort of controversy surrounding the matter. Basically, in that nice, official-sounding statement, The Academy basically said that Luke Perry didn't rise to the qualification of being included in the televised broadcast, but is instead resigned to the Oscars website.
Granted, no one can pretend that Luke Perry had the type of career that ever landed in major awards contention. Perry was a hit at shows like the Kid's Choice or Critic's Choice Awards, but never the Oscars or Golden Globes. Ironically enough, he was just making into circles like the Screen Actors Guild, thanks to being part of Quentin Tarantino's ensemble cast for Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood, which was up for multiple Oscars that evening. So, even though Perry wasn't traditional "Oscars actor" talent, who knows where the path may have led, if Perry's life weren't cut so tragically short...
Still, the process for the Oscars In Memoriam probably needs to undergo about as much revision as the entire Awards ceremony should. The fact is, year by year The Oscars seems to drift further and further away from connecting with the wider mass audience, and neglecting the death of one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood isn't going to help that case.