Joan Rivers Was Left Out of ‘In Memoriam’ Reel Because Apparently the Academy Can’t Fit in a Red Carpet Legend

Melissa Rivers on Late Mother Joan Rivers
Melissa Rivers just talked publicly about her late mother, Joan Rivers, for the first time since her passing in September

Despite Joan Rivers’s phenomenal success in breaking down barriers for female comedians and women in general in the entertainment industry (which is still a man’s world, if Patricia Arquette’s moving speech was any indication), Rivers was noticeably left out of out of the Oscar’s “In Memoriam” segment.

This year’s montage featured beautiful animated portraits of those in the film community who passed away last year. But Rivers, who arguably made the Oscars Red Carpet pre-shows what they are today and worked the Red Carpet for 20 years (not to mention was a comedic prowess, starred in Fashion Police since 2010, and did some acting on the side), was not included.

Rivers’ red carpet pre-show was legendary. She would always ask “Who are you wearing?”, and then follow up their response up a question no one else would dare ask. Her interviews and humorous quips gave everyone watching and participating a lighthearted breather, and a good laugh.

Amidst all the sexist and serious (read: dreadful) questions journalists ask women on the Red Carpet, Rivers’ pre-show talk was refreshing and, dare we demand, not sexist.

Now with the #AskHerMore movement gaining support like wildfire because, shocker, people want to know the women in the dress rather than just about the dress itself, and female celebrities aren’t at an awards show to just talk about what they’re wearing, more than ever Joan Rivers and her unwavering support for women is missed.

More than ever, the Academy missed their chance to pay tribute to someone like Joan, who ferociously broke down barriers for women in entertainment by proving that laughter is the best medicine for criticism. 

Twitter and the Internet bemoaned Rivers’ absence and fans were outraged, so the Academy made this statement in response:

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. She is, however, included in our ‘In Memoriam’ gallery on Oscar.com.

Another funny lady in Hollywood, Elaine Stritch, was also shockingly left out of the Academy’s “In Memorium” segment.

Daughter Melissa Rivers, however, paid a touching, tear-jerking honor to her mother, who passed away in September 2014, before the 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. We didn’t know that walking into a building [the red carpet] was turning into an event,” she said.

She continued, “There were so many great moments with so many of the greats. And I think the reason everybody loved talking to my mother, just like the people who sit in these bleachers, was because she was a true fan.

“So here I am 20 years later, one last Oscar, one last red carpet, and one last time to say, ‘Back to you mom.'”

The segment ended with a video clip of Joan saying, “Goodbye, my friends”, blowing a kiss.