Oscars: Academy Apologizes for Using Wrong Photo During In Memoriam Segment

Janet Patterson Obit
Courtesy of ABC

UPDATED: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has apologized to producer Jan Chapman for mistakenly including her picture in Oscars telecast In Memoriam segment. Chapman’s photo was used instead of Janet Patterson’s, an Oscar-nominated costume designer who died in October 2016.

The organization behind the annual awards show also apologized to the Patterson family.

“We sincerely apologize to producer Jan Chapman, whose photo was mistakenly used in the Oscars ‘In Memoriam’ tribute for her colleague and dear friend, the late Janet Patterson,” the organization said in an Instagram post on Wednesday. “Janet, an Academy member and four-time Oscar-nominated costume designer, was beloved in our community. We extend our deepest apologies and condolences to the Patterson family.”


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The apology came more than 48 hours after the telecast. This year’s Oscars have drawn extensive coverage for a gaffe that saw presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway mistakenly name “La La Land” as best picture. The producers of the musical gave their acceptance speeches before learning “Moonlight” had actually won the honor. The Academy took nearly a full day to issue an apology for that mistake.

Chapman and Patterson worked together on “The Piano.” Her credits include “Holy Smoke” and “The Last Days of Chez Nous.”

The photo of Chapman was taken at the 2010 Kodak Inside Film Awards in Sydney. It was shot by Brendon Thorne for Getty Images. It appears to have been mislabeled as a photo of Patterson, who was nominated for her work on “Bright Star.” The photo of Chapman was widely used to accompany obituaries for Patterson last fall.

Getty Images has yet to comment on the blunder. Thorne did not respond to requests for comment.

Update: Both Getty Images and the Academy apologized to Chapman, according to a spokesman for her production company.

“I was devastated by the use of my image in place of my great friend and long-time collaborator Janet Patterson,” Chapman told Variety exclusively in a statement earlier this week. “I had urged her agency to check any photograph which might be used and understand that they were told that the Academy had it covered. Janet was a great beauty and four-time Oscar nominee and it is very disappointing that the error was not picked up. I am alive and well and an active producer.”

The Academy has updated the In Memoriam footage with the correct photo.

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  1. Ruth Deutsch says:

    As a former researcher on “Jeopardy!”, we found that there is no source that’s infallible, including Webster’s 3rd Unabridged Dictionary and Encyclopedia Britannica!!! At some level, to not take a zillion hours to fact check, you find you need to find the most trustworthy sources you can, but then you also double source for good measure. Even so, when an alleged credible source is in error and others don’t know that and repeat the error…that’s when we realize we’re all human :-)

  2. E says:

    …and with his cousin, George, in the audience, they neglected to honor MIGUEL FERRAR…FOR SHAME!

  3. Faye Kannews says:

    Some Lame.

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