We might have excused the slight, since neither of the women was known for their big screen projects, except for the fact that the tribute included Michael Jackson — certainly no film icon.
Critics of the Academy’s omissions have ranged from the stars’ families to Jane Fonda and Roger Ebert, both of whom tweeted about the snub. Wednesday, Academy member Bruce Davis, who has produced the memorial segment since the tradition started in 1993, said this: "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."
In other words, he said nothing. Davis spoke specifically to the Fawcett absence, since her family has been the most vocal about the omission. Although Davis said that he considered including Fawcett, he decided that the Emmy Awards would be a more appropriate place to honor her television work.
I understand that not everyone can be included in the Oscar tribute. But both Fawcett and Arthur actually did appear in film and, more importantly, they were pop culture icons. I think producers could have added 30 seconds to the montage to include clips from The Apostle with Fawcett, and Lovers and Other Strangers with Arthur — both Oscar nominated films.
Davis defended his inclusion of Jackson, because the pop star – who died the same day as Fawcett — was the subject of a successful documentary last year. The irony, of course, is that much of the success of the documentary was likely due to Jackson’s death.
What do you think of the Academy’s slight of Farrah Fawcett and Bea Arthur? Did you expect to see them in the Oscar tribute?