Academy snubbed actress Farrah Fawcett

No doubt the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is basking in the afterglow of its Oscar telecast, which captured the biggest audience for ABC in five years.

There will be slaps on the back in the Academy’s board room and a feeling that all is right again in Oscarland.

What a pathetic joke. How delusional is that?

It is embarrassing enough that the Academy snubbed actress Farrah Fawcett when it remembered entertainment personalities who had died during the past year, but the Oscar show itself was so flawed, so boring, that I wonder how many of those people who endured the telecast will want to sit through another one?

First, it was outrageous that the Academy didn’t see fit to recognize Fawcett during the “in memoriam” portion of the 82nd Annual Academy Awards broadcast. This, mind you, after the 62-year-old actress had put together a modest but respectable film career despite huge odds with prominent roles in films like “The Apostle” with Robert Duvall, “Logan’s Run” with Michael York, and “Dr. T and the Women” with Richard Gere.

Across the Internet, people were fuming that Fawcett, who died last year after a very public and tragic struggle with cancer, would be ignored by the leading film organization in Hollywood. Film critic Roger Ebert was moved to Twitter: “No Farrah Fawcett in the tribute? Major fail.”

Academy spokesman Leslie Unger, in a statement reeking with arrogance, issued a statement that said: “Every year it’s an unfortunate reality that we can’t include everybody.”

Oh, but you can include Michael Jackson, a pop singer?!

Unger, whose Red Queen persona is on full display each year as she threatens reporters from around the world with banishment or even arrest if they break any of the Academy’s arcane rules, (I have been present backstage when she warns reporters that the LAPD will handcuff them and haul them off to jail if they open the door at the back of the press room where celebrities are escorted to media interviews), doesn’t like it when the Academy is questioned.

Arrogance and pettiness are never in short supply at the Academy, but the show itself this year exhibited another Academy trait: self-delusion. Is it only me or do the shows seem to be getting worse with each passing year. ABC turns over three-plus hours to the Academy to stage something this bad. And don’t get me started on how over-the-top bad Kathy Ireland was in the Oscar Red Carpet pre-show!

This year’s show was truly dreadful from the moment that Neil Patrick Harris began his song-and-dance routine (he proved he can’t sing) to the insipid tribute to horror pictures that seemed more a tribute to sci-fi films, to the embarrassing moment when they showed a side-portrait of Jennifer Jones during the “in memoriam” tribute for Jean Simmons!

The biggest letdown of the evening had to be for best picture. All awards season, we have been building to this climax. Would “The Hurt Locker,” a small, indie picture with no stars, beat “Avatar,” the biggest grossing film of all time? Then Tom Hanks rushed out and opened the envelope and announced that “The Hurt
Locker” won, but the show was quickly winding down so we have to go! Good night!

I propose that next year, the Academy Awards should announce the best picture at the beginning of the telecast, followed quickly by best actor, best actress, best director and the supporting roles.

Relegate best sound mixing and makeup to last!

And if you must put Neil Patrick Harris on, put him on when nobody is left to watch!

About Robert W. Welkos

Executive Editor: Robert W. Welkos is an award-winning journalist who covered the entertainment industry for 15 years as a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times. During this span, he wrote extensively about the movie industry from turmoil in the executive suites, the Academy Awards and Golden Globes, and box office hits and bombs to visits to movie sets as well as profiles of top stars and A-list directors, cutting edge features on the newest indie films and visits to famous film festivals like Sundance and Cannes. Prior to entertainment, Welkos worked as a reporter and assistant city editor in The Times’ Metro section where he undertook major investigations for the paper as well as covering breaking news and writing in-depth features. Before joining The Times, he worked for the Associated Press in Reno, Nevada, and City News Service in Los Angeles.

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  • March 9, 2010 | Permalink |

    It is truly sad that there are people in the academy who pick and choose who is going to be in the memoriam just because they have the power to do so…Michael Jackson was not known for his acting ability…I think the person who made the decision should be fired. It is the people out there in the audience, the ones out there in television land that pay their paychecks…Perhaps, we should demand which idiot or idiots who decided to leave one of the most prolific and ubiquitous star of the 70’s… but, this isn’t the first time, because when Troy Donahue died, I don’t remember him being remembered either.
    It is time for Hollywood to take a step back from the New Hollywood, and realize, that it isn’t so popular…New Hollywood needs to grow up and take responsibility.

  • March 9, 2010 | Permalink |


    Hollywoodcelebrities don’t have the attraction that the previous stars had in the Old Hollywood, and that is talent and respectability. All the stars are today are just whores, and low-class dimwits…and I blame that on Hollywood who is hiring new kids who think they know everything, New Hollywood believes they know what they are doing, and since they’re inception 15 years ago or more, The Hollywood Factory is nil and incomplete with talentless actors and actress…Hollywood has also dropped good writers for these new writers that aren’t writing very well, and all of their movies are practically flops because the storylines are insipid and lack any substance. Hollywood, wake up, your audience would rather watch cartoons than watch the failures you keep putting out there with weak storylines, plots, and bad acting…but, I’d rather prefer bad acting with a good storyline and great plot than all the stupid horror films and dumb love stories that Hollywood seems to be drumming up these days…it is you, each and every one of you from the producer, director, actors, camerman, and so,forth that need to be replaced. I say, replace the new Hollywood with the old writers, directors, etc…and Hollywood will again, rise from its New Hollywood Ashes.

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