I’ll admit that I didn’t pay close attention to the Oscars telecast this year. I just wasn’t that excited about the nominees, and there wasn’t even much star-gazing to do — where was Jodie Foster, anyway?
Whoopi wasn’t the only one who slipped Oscar’s mind — Steve Martin was also left out of the host montage, and Brad Renfro and Roy Scheider were not included in the “In Memoriam” segment.
There was some footage (in a different montage) of Whoopi’s 1990 win for Best Supporting Actress for Ghost. But there wasn’t a second of praise for her four hosting gigs (yes, four! 1993, 1995, 1998, 2001). The slight did not please the ladies of The View. Whoopi even got a little teary-eyed — here’s the clip:
The Academy has apologized. According to producer Gil Cates, the omission was a “complete oversight”:
No harm was intended, and I feel very, very badly that she was left out. I’m going to call her and tell her that.
Cates also said the montage wasn’t really a “montage of hosts” but a montage of exciting moments. Oh. Gee, that helps: It’s not about you being a host, Whoopi; it’s about you being not exciting.
I don’t know. It’s hard not to see it as deliberate. Whoopi’s performances as host were widely criticized by some, so this just seems like a kind of revenge. (I myself quite enjoyed her as host — I remember that after the performance of the Pocahontas song “Colors of the Wind,” she mused, “What color is my wind?” and I was chuckling for days.)
And then there’s this: Producer Cates noted that he was the one of the honchos who asked Whoopi to host the show in the first place. Is that sort of like saying, “Some of my best friends are black Oscar hosts?” I’m sure it’s not fair of me to say that, but it just seems like he’s protesting a little too much.
If it wasn’t deliberate, it sure was sloppy. Hire some new researchers, ABC!