The 2021 Oscars managed to feel both too long and too short at times — namely due to the much too-fast In Memoriam.
Near the end of the April 25 award show, Angela Bassett stepped on the stage for the segment to recognize and honor those who died in the past year.
Her introduction (nearly one and a half minutes) was about half as long as the In Memoriam itself (just over two and a half minutes). The names and faces flashed by so quickly, it’s likely that viewers missed some of the names and thought there might have been more snubs than there were. But, as almost always seems to happen, beloved names DID get left out.
In an In Memoriam that began with Cicely Tyson and ended with Chadwick Boseman (who did not get a posthumous win for Best Actor for his work in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom as many had expected), some notable names were missing: actresses Naya Rivera and Jessica Walter, songwriter Adam Schlesinger (an Oscar nominee for Best Original Song in 1997), and actor Nick Cordero.
Both the snubs and the speed received backlash from viewers on Twitter.
#Oscars didn’t, so I’m doing it.
IN MEMORIAM OF NAYA RIVERA. pic.twitter.com/qWDoezisFX
— celeste ミ☆ (@heyaspetsch) April 26, 2021
— Anne-Marie Hawkes (@ThatGirl1971) April 26, 2021
Adam Schlesinger was nominated for an Oscar for writing “That Thing You Do!” in 1997. I don’t know why he wasn’t in the official In Memoriam segment tonight (especially because he wrote one of the greatest film songs of all time) so I’m honoring him here. #AdamSchlesinger
— Rachel Bloom (@Racheldoesstuff) April 26, 2021
— austin blake mays (@austinblakemays) April 26, 2021
— Nick’s Film Corner (@NicksFilmCorner) April 26, 2021
#Oscars You left out Jessica Walter and Naya Rivera in your hyper speed ~in memoriam~
— Elizabeth Hamer (@1elizabethhamer) April 26, 2021
Though the show ran long, that didn’t mean that the In Memoriam segment had to be shortened when they tried to make up for time. (After all, the musical performances aired before the Oscars.) More time could have been dedicated to those who passed away by cutting some of the lengthier stories about nominees as detailed with each award given out or cutting (or shortening) Lil Rel Howery’s trivia game.