The real reason Luke Perry was left out of the Oscars ‘In Memoriam’ tribute

There were plenty of memorable moments from the 2020 Oscars ceremony, including the special “In Memoriam” tribute that honored Hollywood figures who we’ve lost in the past year. However, actor Luke Perry, who passed away in March 2019 at the age of 52, was left out. Naturally, some fans are wondering why. As CNN notes, the apparent snub was particularly egregious given that Perry appeared in one of the evening’s most nominated films, Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood.

On the Monday following the Oscars, those responsible for the event released an explanation regarding Perry’s omission from the tribute. “The Academy receives hundreds of requests to include loved ones and industry colleagues in the Oscars In Memoriam segment,” the statement read, according to E! News. “An executive committee representing every branch considers the list and makes selections for the telecast based on limited available time.” They also noted that “[a]ll the submissions are included on Oscar.com and will remain on the site throughout the year.” That’s where you’ll find Perry “remembered” by the Academy, alongside others who weren’t featured in the on-air tribute.

Luke Perry wasn't the only one missing from the Oscars tribute

Those who were watching the 2020 Oscars may have noticed a few other notable names and beloved figures who passed in 2019 or early 2020 that didn’t appear in the “In Memoriam” segment. In fact, if you take a look at the online gallery posted on Oscars.com, you’ll see that there are 163 individual entries. There was far too little time for that many names during the live tribute.

Disney Channel actor Cameron Boyce wasn’t mentioned during the ceremony, however, he can be found in the touching gallery along with others who have entertained countless audiences over the years, such as Peggy Lipton (who appeared on The Mod Squad and Twin Peaks as well as being the mother of Parks and Recreation star Rashida Jones), Caroll Spinney (the puppeteer behind Big Bird), Diahann Carroll, Sid Haig, Doris Day,Tim Conway, Anna Karina, Valerie Harper, Danny Aiello, Rip Taylor, Rip Torn, and many, many more.

Former NBA player Kobe Bryant is in the gallery, however, he was also the first person honored during the live tribute, which may have seemed strange since he was an athlete and not an actor.

Some may have wondered why Kobe Bryant was included

Some may have wondered why Kobe Bryant was included in the “In Memoriam” tribute due to the fact that he was an NBA star and not a movie star. However, the late NBA player was once involved in an award-worthy production that earned him an Oscar.

Back in 2018, Bryant took home an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for Dear Basketball. Narrated by the athlete, the short “illustrat[es] the poem that the Los Angeles Laker wrote for The Players’ Tribune to announce his retirement in November 2015,” according to Today. “With lines like ‘I fell in love with you / A love so deep I gave you my all / From my mind and body / To my spirit and soul’ and ‘This season is all I have left to give. / My heart can take the pounding / My mind can handle the grind / But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye,’ it’s all about letting go and moving on from the sport that Bryant loved deeply.”

Those lines are even more touching — and perhaps take on a different significance — now that Bryant has passed. His loss also made the night emotional for his friend Spike Lee, who honored Bryant in a very special way, and made the event somewhat difficult for singer Billie Eilish, who performed during the heartwrenching tribute.

Billie Eilish delivered a moving 'In Memoriam' performance

When it was announced that Billie Eilish would be performing at the 2020 Oscars, many assumed that she would be introducing fans to her James Bond theme song. However, the young singer talked to Entertainment Tonight before the event to open up about why she instead chose something very different for the task she was given.

“I can’t do that for the In Memoriam,” Eilish told ET while explaining why she opted not to introduce her Bond tune. “It’s not about me. This is about them and showing love. It’s not my thing. It really is true. I don’t want it to be about me. I want people to be watching the screen, watching the people.”

Instead, Eilish delivered a heartfelt rendition of the Beatles’ “Yesterday.” And while she said beforehand that she was “looking forward” to “respecting all the people that have passed this year,” she also noted that Kobe Bryant’s death, in particular, was affecting her, saying, “It’s just sad. It’s like, I don’t know what else to say. Every time, when we were in rehearsal and they run kind of what’s going to be playing, every time I see his face [on the screen], I’m like what? It’s so weird. It doesn’t make sense to me. I just got shivers, it’s horrifying.” Viewers surely got shivers, too, when Eilish sang her tribute that did justice to the touching moment.

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