Entertainment host Joan Rivers was a staple of red-carpet season, responsible for coining the most ubiquitous awards-season phrase: “Who are you wearing?” So when the late comedienne, who passed away in September 2014, was excluded from the Oscars’ In Memoriam segment on Sunday night (Feb. 22), fans took to Twitter to express their surprise and disappointment.
In a statement posted to her mother's Facebook page on Monday Feb. 23, Joan’s daughter, Melissa Rivers, finally spoke out about the snub.
" It would have been nice, especially considering the impact she had on the awards season,” the Fashion Police producer’s statement read, “but [Melissa's son] Cooper and I have been overwhelmed with support and love over my mom's passing and we choose to focus on that."
"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,” the Academy told The Hollywood Reporter. “She is, however, included in our In Memoriam gallery on Oscar.com."
Fashion Police host Joan passed away on Sept. 4 at the age of 81 following complications while undergoing throat surgery.
Although her silver-screen appearances consisted mostly of cameo roles – including Spaceballs and The Smurfs – she was well-loved for a decades-long career in entertainment that included her ground-breaking Oscar red-carpet interviews. As such, many fans felt she should have been included in the memorial tribute.
While the Oscars didn't recognize the star during the telecast, Melissa aired a tribute video during E!'s Live From The Red Carpet Oscars pre-show.
"It's hard to believe it was 20 years ago that my mother and I stood on this very red carpet for the first time," she said during the clip, which aired highlights from Joan's Academy Awards interviews. "My mom asked questions that nobody else dared to ask."
Other notable omissions from the entertainment world during Sunday's In Memoriam tribute included stage star Elaine Stritch and The Last Boy Scout actor Taylor Negron.
Those honoured during the show included Lauren Bacall, Mickey Rooney and Robin Williams.