Why the Oscars’ In Memoriam segment still makes Corey Feldman angry
One of the most poignant and beloved moments from the annual Oscar telecast is when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences pays tribute to Hollywood’s above- and below-the-line greats. But Corey Feldman says it remains a “travesty and a tragedy” that his pal Corey Haim was not included during the 2011 segment.
That year, the Academy recognized Lynn Redgrave, Leslie Nielsen, Tony Curtis, Jill Clayburgh, Dennis Hopper, and publicist Ronni Chasen, but left out Haim, whose credits included The Lost Boys, Lucas, and License To Drive.
Haim died on March 11, 2010 at the age of 38.
“Together, our films made about a half billion in the box office. And that’s not including all the films he did on his own,” Feldman tells EW. “He should have definitely been recognized. There is a bitter taste in my mouth over that. Maybe one day the Academy will see fit to do something to honor his memory.”
Each year, the Academy has the unlucky job of whittling down hundreds of names for the four-minute package featuring 40 or so people. A report in Vanity Fair says that this year’s list had close to 800 names on it, so a committee of Academy members began meeting in January to decide who deserves to be included in the segment that was first introduced in 1994. In recent years, the Academy has tried to assemble a more diversified In Memoriam that doesn’t just include famous faces (ergo, casting directors and attorneys who you’ve never heard of). But that’s just made the selection process all the more time consuming.
The meeting can go on “for hours and hours,” a source told VF. “It’s all about status. It’s impossible to be fair. You try, every year, to add in a certain number of editors and art directors. It’s about a person’s prominence in their field, and you don’t want to just go with the movie stars or the big-time directors.”
After Haim was excluded from the 2011 segment, Feldman did multiple interviews to express his dismay. “I let the world know I was pretty upset and announced the No. 1 problem in Hollywood is pedophilia and we need to stop covering it up,” recalls Feldman (who has long claimed he and Haim suffered abuse when they were young performers). Leaving Haim out was “a big faux pas,” he added.
Feldman recently talked to EW about his participation in a 1989 musical number at the Oscars that was designed to honor future Oscar winners. “I was almost embarrassed about the number to be completely honest,” he told EW. “First of all, none of those people have been nominated for an Academy Award so I would say that was the worst premonition in the show’s history.”
For more on the star-studded number that included Patrick Dempsey, Christian Slater, Blair Underwood, and Ricki Lake, click here.
The 90th annual Academy Awards will air at 8 p.m. ET this Sunday on ABC.