Every Oscars telecast includes the requisite "bring out your dead" moment, where the screen flips through movie clips of actors and other film industry folks who've died in the last year. But there's been a small uproar online last night and today about some notable exclusions from this year's death watch.
Apparently, it depends on when you die as to whether you can make the cut for the "In Memorium" montage. "Jaws" and "All That Jazz" star Roy Scheider died Feb. 10. The production deadline for this death reel was Jan. 31. So he'll no doubt get lots of applause next year.
But acclaimed young actor Brad Renfro died Jan. 15 — before Heath Ledger, who was included almost as a centerpiece (and got the loudest applause), and well before the deadline.
A spokeswoman at the Academy told MTV News that the omission was not an intentional slight but a necessity, given limited time to make and show the piece. "Obviously, [that piece] is not something that we can continue to cut right up until the day of the show, so there's a point at which we have to make difficult decisions," the spokeswoman said. "It's a very difficult piece to put together every year, but we're just not able to include everyone. There were many people [this year] who were not included."
Renfro, however, was not an invited member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization behind the Oscars. In the end, that might have been a contributing factor to his exclusion from the montage, the Academy spokeswoman admitted to MTV.