Oscars 2021: Viewers criticise ‘disgraceful’ omission of Jessica Walter and Naya Rivera from ‘in memoriam’ segment

Isobel Lewis
·2-min read
 (Getty)
(Getty)

Oscars viewers shared their frustration after high-profile performers including Jessica Walter, Naya Rivera and Adam Schlesinger were not included in the “in memoriam” segment.

Airing as part of Sunday (25 April) night’s awards ceremony, the annual commemoration of those lost from the world of film included stars such as Cicely Tyson and Sean Connery.

However, the segment was met with criticism online, with some viewers suggesting that the video was too fast-paced and went through the names of those lost too quickly.

They also pointed out some notable omissions, including Arrested Development star Walter, who died in March and Glee’s Rivera, who died in July 2020.

While both actors were best known for starring in TV series, they had respectively appeared in a number of films, with one viewer tweeting: “The memoriam was so disrespectful, they unnecessary speed run it and didn’t included Naya Rivera and Jessica Walter.”

Regarding Walter, one tweet read: “The In Memoriam section of the #Oscars is always rough, but how on earth did they not include Jessica Walter.”

“Not including Jessica Walter in the In Memoriam is truly a disgrace....” another social media user said.

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“I was fully expecting to see Naya Rivera’s name in this segment. Was I the only one?” one Twitter user questioned.

“They are foul for not putting Naya Rivera in the in memoriam,” another commenter wrote, while another tweet read: “Not Naya Rivera in the Memoriam? Ok...this kinda hurt.”

Another notable omission was songwriter Schlesinger, who was nominated for Best Song in 1997 for the title track from That Thing You Do!, and died last April from coronavirus.

Rachel Bloom, who worked with Schlesinger on musical-comedy series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, tweeted: “Adam Schlesinger was nominated for an Oscar for writing ‘That Thing You Do!’ in 1997.

“I don’t know why he wasn’t in the official In Memoriam segment tonight (especially because he wrote one of the greatest film songs of all time) so I’m honoring him here.”

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