Oscars In Memoriam Criticized for Omitting Naya Rivera, Jessica Walter and Adam Schlesinger

Many also felt the whole segment felt more “rushed” than usual.

Every year, without fail, the Academy Awards gets backlash for who the show decides to include and omit from its annual In Memoriam tribute. And this year was no exception.

Introduced by Angela Bassett on Sunday night, the “9-1-1” actress was passionate as she said, “Let us as one community say, thank you, you will remain as we remember you in our hearts always.”

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The tribute, set to Stevie Wonder’s more upbeat “As,” seemed faster than usual — with some of the names hard to even read because of the speed. Among those honored: Sean Connery, Cicely Tyson, Max Von Sydow, Cloris Leachman, Christopher Plummer, Kelly Preston, Chadwick Boseman and, the most recent losses, DMX and Helen McCrory.

Missing, however, were actresses including Naya Rivera — who, while known for her TV work, did star in “At the Devil’s Door,” the “Glee” concert movie and voiced Catwoman in an upcoming animated Batman movie — and Jessica Walter. Though Walter was best known for “Arrested Development” and “Archer,” she also won acclaim for her work in films including “Play Misty for Me,” “Grand Prix” and “Slums of Beverly Hills.”

Also MIA from the tribute was Adam Schlesinger, who died of Covid complications at the age of 52 in 2020. Known primarily as a Fountains of Wayne musician, he was nominated for an Academy Award for writing the title track of “That Thing You Do!” He also wrote songs for “Music and Lyrics” and “Ice Age: Continental Drift.”

In addition to the speed and tone of the piece, as well as those left out, the segment was also criticized for coming moments after Glenn Close stole the show by doing “Da Butt” during the telecast. It all only added to the truly chaotic nature of the evening.

See more reactions to the In Memoriam below:

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