It seems to happen every year. The Oscars telecast stops for 10 minutes to honor and remember contributors to the movie business who have passed away since the last Oscars show. And it also happens annually that they screw it up...not so much the presentation as who is included.
Perhaps you have to have paid a certain amount of dues to some industry organization. Or maybe the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences only recognizes members in good standing...or those who have earned a certain amount in movies. Whatever the formula may be, it needs to be more transparent. Because the current method of choosing those to be remembered invariably ends up snubbing someone who is dear to the memory of most viewers.
This year several names pop to mind, including Andy Griffith. One of the biggest television stars of all time was a movie actor in his early years. Griffith starred in No Time for Sergeants, a huge comedy hit in 1958.
Phyllis Diller was no movie star. But she was a star. And she appeared in several movies. None of them were very good. But shouldn't someone's star status count for something?
Apparently Larry Hagman wasn't a big enough movie star to make this year's list either. He had a reasonable "supporting actor" career prior to becoming a TV star in I Dream of Jeannie and Dallas.
And then...if slighting those folks wasn't enough...they send mega-superstar Barbra Streisand out to sing The Way We Were to honor the memory of Marvin Hamlisch. Well sure, Hamlisch was an accomplished composer and musician, and a strong contributor to the movie business. But an over-the-top and attempted tear-jerking tribute to Marvin Hamlisch? I guess I don't see the priorities.
It would seem that the Academy should make some sort of announcement during the telecast as to what their criteria is for inclusion in the In Memoriam segment if they want to not look like they are either stupid or petty.