There’s no doubt that the 89th Academy Awards will go down in history as one of the most memorable in show-biz history, due to the MASSIVE mistake made during the announcement of the Best Picture winner (not to mention the extremely uncomfortable moment when Brie Larson had to hand an award to Casey Affleck for the second time). But there was actually another huge mistake made during last night’s event that you probably didn’t even catch.
The In Memoriam segment is always an emotional moment during a night that is mostly filled with smiles and applause. But this year, it was also a moment of upset for those who noticed a very insensitive mistake.
Janet Patterson, an Australian costume designer who was also a four-time Oscar nominee (earning recognition for her work in The Piano, Portrait of a Lady, Oscar and Lucinda, and Bright Star), sadly passed away in October 2016. Though she definitely earned a place of recognition within the In Memoriam segment, things were very wrong when her tribute came up onscreen. The Academy had gotten Patterson’s name and profession right, but they showed a picture of a woman that wasn’t actually Janet Patterson at all.
Instead, we were shown a picture of Jan Chapman, an Australian film producer (who was Patterson’s professional partner and is very much still alive. “I am alive and well and an active producer,” Chapman told Variety. However, she added, “I was devastated by the use of my image in place of my great friend and long-time collaborator Janet Patterson. I had urged her agency to check any photograph which might be used and understand that they were told that the Academy had it covered. Janet was a great beauty and four-time Oscar nominee and it is very disappointing that the error was not picked up.”
It looks like the Academy not only owes an apology to Jan Chapman as well as Janet Patterson’s family, but may need to overhaul their operations to step things up a notch… or 10.
What do you think about the Oscars’ In Memoriam mistake? Let us know @BritandCo!
(h/t Variety, photos via Jason LaVeris/Getty, Image Group LA, and ABC)