Oscars 2015: Academy defends Joan Rivers ‘In Memoriam’ snub

Late comedian and red carpet presenter was left out of the Oscars' video tribute

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has defended its decision to leave Joan Rivers out of its ‘In Memoriam’ video montage at the Oscars last night (February 22).

Meryl Streep introduced this year’s ‘In Memoriam’ video, which paid tribute to significant figures from the film-making world who have passed away over the last 12 months. Among those honoured in the montage were Robin Williams, Lauren Bacall, Bob Hoskins, Mike Nichols, Mickey Rooney and Maya Angelou.

However, Rivers – who helped to popularise the Oscars’ pre-awards ceremony coverage with her cutting remarks from the red carpet, and also made a number of film appearances over the years – was absent from the video. Many fans expressed their surprise on Twitter, including Kelly Osbourne, who worked with Rivers on E!’s hit style commentary show Fashion Police%3E.%3Cblockquote%20class%3D%22twitter-tweet%22%20lang%3D%22en”>

Am I missing something or was @Joan_Rivers really left out of the #Oscars memorials?

— Kelly Osbourne (@KellyOsbourne) February 23, 2015
Responding to controversy over Rivers’ omission from the tribute video, a spokesperson for the Academy told The Hollywood Reporter: “Joan Rivers is among the many worthy artists and filmmakers we were unfortunately unable to feature in the In Memoriam segment of this year’s Oscar show. She is, however, included in our In Memoriam gallery on Oscar.com.”

Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel were the big winners at the 87th Academy Awards last night (February 22), while Eddie Redmayne and Julianne Moore took home the top acting prizes. Check out the full list of winners here.