Janet Patterson Bruce Davis Steve Pond film show Janet Patterson Bruce Davis Steve Pond

Snubs, omissions, and a secret publicity race: The thorny diplomacy of the Oscars in memoriam segment

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La La Land was wrongly announced as Best Picture instead of Moonlight), the segment included the wrong photo for costume designer Janet Patterson, showing an image of a living producer instead.

The stakes are high, the scrutiny real, and errors won’t go unnoticed. There is a real cause for hand-wringing, and even industry veterans aren’t immune to the agony that goes into making the final selection. “It is a beloved segment, but I would much prefer we didn’t do it,” Bruce Davis, the Academy’s former executive director, once told The Wrap’s Steve Pond.

The exercise, Davis added, inevitably entails cutting out people with “substantial careers”, which left him “[feeling] like s*** for days afterwards”.

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