It was such a beautiful segment, too, so of course something had to be wrong. According to Variety, an incorrect photo was used in the montage honoring the stars who had died in the past year. Instead of a photo of costume designer Janet Patterson -- a four-time Oscar nominee who died in October -- the Oscars showed an image of producer Jan Chapman -- who is still alive, and was totally shocked to see herself revealed as dead instead of her friend and former colleague. Patterson's name and occupation were correct, but it was Chapman's photo that played around 1:25 into the video, right before "Star Trek" actor Anton Yelchin.
That's Jan Chapman on the left, and Janet Patterson on the right:
— Billy Bloke (@eBayDownUnder) February 27, 2017
Chapman reacted with a statement to Variety:
"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. I am alive and well and an active producer."
Eek. As tempting as it is to just laugh off another Oscars gaffe, these women were friends. It hurts to lose a friend, and then be shocked by your own image at the Oscars in her place. The Australian women both worked together on "The Piano" and "Bright Star." Patterson was Oscar nominated for her costumes for both of those films, as well as for "Portrait of a Lady" and "Oscar and Lucinda."
It's very possible this gaffe can be sourced to an incorrect image in the system. If you search Getty Images for "Janet Patterson," this comes up:
Here's the caption:
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 14: Janet Patterson poses with her award for Best Production Design at the 2010 Inside Film Awards at City Recital Hall on November 14, 2010 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)
But as we now see, that is Jan Chapman, not Janet Patterson. No wonder Chapman asked them to double check the images. She probably worried this exact photo error would come back to haunt them, and it did.
The "In Memoriam" always faces some kind of controversy, but usually it's "just" over who was left out. This time, Garry Shandling and Florence Henderson -- more TV stars than film stars -- were considered snubs, and some fans are still mentioning Alan Rickman as a snub even though he was included in last year's reel. It's hard to say what they'll do about Bill Paxton in Oscars 2018, since Jennifer Aniston mentioned him at the top of the 2017 "In Memoriam" segment but there wasn't time to add him to the actual montage.
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