Australian Movie Producer Mistakenly Declared Dead in Another Oscars Mix-Up
The big headline from last night was Warren Beatty’s colossal goof during the Best Picture announcement, in which he erroneously named La La Land the winner of the coveted prize, only to be corrected two minutes later with the news that the award would actually go to Moonlight. It was a classic mix-up, a reminder of the high-wire instability of live television, and an instant entry for the Oscar history books. But there was a second, less glaring gaffe in the telecast, so subtle that it went by without most viewers noticing. But the Australian producer who watched herself declared dead in the In Memoriam segment certainly did.
Alongside such luminaries as Gene Wilder and Abbas Kiarostami, Australian costume designer and multiple Oscar nominee Janet Patterson got her moment in the In Memoriam video, having died in October 2015. The only thing is that the photo accompanying Ms. Patterson’s name did not depict Ms. Patterson. It was a photo of film producer and fellow Aussie Jan Chapman, who is very much alive, and was shocked to see the Hollywood glitterati solemnly applauding for her. Variety has the offending image, courtesy of the good folks at ABC:
It‘s a pretty major oversight, symptomatic of a show that didn‘t always seem to have its act together. Either way, you can be sure that all the slides in next year’s video will have been triple-checked (and don’t be surprised if all the envelopes are quadruple-checked). Jan Chapman remains alive and with us, and will probably receive a very thoughtful gift basket from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the days to come.