The 92nd Annual Academy Awards took place last night, officially wrapping up the last bits of the 2019 awards season. Despite the generally jovial mood at the Oscars, Hollywood still had to take a somber moment to recognize the lives and contributions of all the stars who left us in the past year. Unfortunately, a number of stars were excluded from the show’s touching memoriam, and people are not happy about it.
This year, the Academy recruited Grammy-winning singer Billie Eilish to perform a moving rendition of The Beatles classic “Yesterday” during the memoriam. Almost two hundred late icons were honored in the tribute, including NBA legend Kobe Bryant and director John Singleton. Bryant (along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others) was killed in a helicopter crash late last month, and Singleton died after complications from a stroke.
Fans were disappointed to discover that the Oscars had failed to mention Luke Perry and Cameron Boyce, among others, in the heartfelt moment. Boyce was a Disney Channel staple who made a name for himself after starring in Jessie and the Descendants trilogy; at age 20, he died from an epileptic seizure in his sleep. His death rocked the Disney universe and Hollywood at large, with peers and fans alike mourning the loss of the young talent.
A similar sadness was felt after the passing of Perry in March. Perry was, without a doubt, a Hollywood icon. We fell in love with him in the early 90s as the bad boy on shows like on My So-Called Life, Buffy, and Beverly Hills, 90210, and then again decades later when he played Archie Andrews' hot dad in the CW series Riverdale.
Perry's exclusion from the Oscars memoriam was also strange due to his involvement in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, which was was nominated for 10 awards and walked away with two wins. Leonardo DiCaprio, who starred in the Tarantino flick along with Brad Pitt, recalled being so excited to work with Perry on the film. "I grew up with him on [Beverly Hills] 90210, looking up to him as literally the coolest dude on Earth and honestly when I was on set, I was starstruck,” said DiCaprio of Perry at the film's premiere. “We got to sit down and chat. He couldn’t have been a more amazing human being. It’s a real tragic loss.”
Though the exclusion is a major one, fans of Boyce, Perry, and any others left out of the memoriam last night might be glad to know that the Oscars did mention the stars on its official website. It surely does not ease the sting of not seeing them last night, but they were loved and respected by the Academy.