By Rosy Cordero
September 21, 2020 at 04:02 PM EDT
Kobe Bryant, Kelly Preston, and Nick Cordero
Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images; Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic; Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

The Emmys' first (and hopefully last) virtual telecast received mixed reviews since airing Sunday, with some of the more heated criticism focusing on the "In Memoriam" segment due to the omission of Kobe Bryant, Kelly Preston, Nick Cordero, Sam Lloyd, and other stars who died in the past year. Fans on social media spoke up to let the Television Academy know they noticed.

Zack Braff expressed his feelings about having to "campaign" for the inclusion of his best friend Cordero, who died of complications from COVID-19 in July, only to have the Emmys "pass."

"For those wondering: The Emmys chose to leave Nick Cordero out of the memorial montage," he tweeted. "I had no idea one had to campaign to get their loved one in. We did. They passed."

Braff also gave insight into the reason the Emmys opted to omit Cordero, who was mostly a Broadway actor but also appeared on television throughout his career, including a three-episode arc on CBS' Blue Bloods.

"From the Emmys," Braff captioned the screenshot. It read, "They did want me to pass along this note: Those involved in the In Memoriam selection process are very aware of the sad passing of Mr. Cordero due to coronavirus and we assure her that his name has been given every consideration for inclusion. With so many people passing away in any given year, we simply cannot ensure any particular individual is included, nor do we release the names of those included prior to the telecast."

A representative for the Emmys did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment.

Braff was also perplexed by the TV Academy not honoring Lloyd, his former Scrubs costar, whose TV and film credits date back to the 1980s and were steady throughout the years until 2019. He died due to complications from lung cancer in May.

"I should mention too, that they also left out Sam Lloyd," Braff wrote. "I would have never even considered 'campaigning' for Sam because he had more TV credits than most actors I know."

The Emmys telecast was shot at Staples Center in Los Angeles, home of the Lakers, where Bryant played 20 NBA seasons and helped win five championships. Although Bryant was not a TV star, he was a small-screen mainstay while entertaining fans (including major Hollywood celebs) during basketball season. Bryant, who died in a tragic helicopter crash alongside his daughter Gianna and seven other people in January, won an Academy Award in 2018 for his animated short "Dear Basketball."

One fan tweeted Monday morning, "In the House that Kobe built, the Staples Center, the [2020 Emmys] did not honor Kobe Bryant during the Memoriam. How soon we forget greatness."

Kelly Preston lost her battle with breast cancer in July and was also left out of the Emmys telecast. While Preston stands out as mostly a film actor for her work in fils like Jerry Maguire, Addicted to Love, and Sky High, she also worked on many TV shows, including Medium, For Love and Honor, and the original Hawaii Five-O.

One viewer tweeted, "If you're the organizers of the #Emmys could you not have give 5 seconds of time and included Kelly Preston for the In Memoriam segment?"

Among the many late stars who were featured in the "In Memoriam" segment (which you can watch below) were Carl Reiner, Regis Philbin, Diahann Carroll, Naya Rivera, Chadwick Boseman, Wilford Brimley, Ja'Net Dubois, Silvio Horta, Jerry Stiller, and John Witherspoon.

Related content: