Entertainment

Academy Refuses to Apologize for Farrah Fawcett/Bea Arthur "Snub"

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

The Internet was on fire Monday with talk of the memorial tribute at the Oscars to those who died in the past year. People are outraged such stars as Farrah Fawcett and Bea Arthur were left out. Although they were primarily television actresses, both were featured in several movies.

But the Academy refuses to apologize, saying producers knew what they were doing.

"I would not say that it was an oversight," Leslie Unger, spokeswoman for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, tells E! News. "No matter how carefully and how conscientiously people address who is included, there are people who just simply can't be."

However, Michael Jackson was included, and he was in far fewer films than Fawcett and Arthur.

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"In any given year there will always be some people that other people think should have been included and that there's more justification for one person versus another," says Unger. "It is impossible to include everybody."

"We were disappointed that she was not included," Fawcett's longtime companion Ryan O'Neal said through a publicist. O'Neal also pointed out Fawcett was an Academy member for 40 years.

"I think this is what Farrah struggled with her entire career," says Craig Nevius, Fawcett's close friend and producer of her documentary, 'Farrah's Story.' "She struggled with respect and told me many times she felt she was put in a box.

"She loved television, and she was primarily a star on TV, but she was also a star on stage and film. You know, how you can discount 'Extremities' (which earned her a Golden Globe nomination), 'The Apostle' (Independent Spirit nomination) and 'Dr. T and the Women,' I don't know.

"I think it would be very big of them to own up to the mistake, but I also think it might set a dangerous precedent for them, which is why they probably won't do it," says Nevius of the Academy.

"Every year there are many difficult decisions that have to be made and not everybody who passed during the year can be included," says Unger. "That's the unfortunate reality."