Everyone is talking about Jennifer Lawrence falling up the stairs, Meryl Streep not opening the envelope and Seth MacFarlane declaring, “We saw your boobs.” Nobody is talking about what the Oscars missed.
At the 85th Annual Academy Awards ceremony, about five minutes of airtime was given to “In Memorium,” a slideshow dedication to those who died in the movie industry this year. There has been speculation about several people left off the list, including big names like Andy Griffith and Phyllis Diller. However, twelve very important names were also forgotten.
John Larimer. Alex Teves. Alex Sullivan. Jessica Ghawi. Jesse Childress. Micayla Medek. Veronica Moser-Sullivan. Gordon Cowden. Alexander J. Boik. Jonathan T. Blunk. Rebecca Ann Wingo. Matt McQuinn.
These are the names of the twelve people who died July 20 at the Century 16 Aurora theater, during the midnight premiere of one of the summer’s biggest blockbusters. Somehow, the Oscars failed to see the obvious importance of these deaths and how intricately their fates were tied to the movie industry.
As I watched the awards ceremony, I kept expecting some sort of a tribute to the victims of the theater shooting. There was a tribute to musicals, a tribute to Bond movies and even a section dedicated to MacFarlane’s movie “Ted.” In all of the time used to celebrate the movie industry, not a single moment was used to mention one of the year’s biggest, most tragic movie-related events.
It was tasteless to ignore this tragedy in lieu of glitz and glam. Obviously, the Oscars are a night of celebration and a night of recognition, but they also should be a night of remembrance. Maybe instead of spending so much time on flashy dance numbers and long introductions, the Academy could focus a couple minutes on those who died while supporting the movie industry.
I’m not saying the pomp of the Oscars should go away. It’s the ceremony of it all that draws in viewers, inspires blogs and sparks countless “best/worst dressed” slideshows. It would just be considerate of the Academy to think about the world that is on the receiving end and watching the silver screen, rather than simply those on and behind it.
After all, the pain left behind from the shooting will have a much longer impact than Anne Hathaway’s dress or Ben Affleck’s acceptance speech.