We knew this year’s Oscars In Memoriam segment was going to be a tearjerker, what with 2016 being the year that claimed the lives of so many of our faves. But there was one viewer who was left devastated by the reel—Jan Chapman, the Oscar-nominated producer of The Piano, who saw a photo of herself included in the clip. It turns out, the photo was misattributed to Janet Patterson, the late costume designer who worked with Chapman on The Piano. Chapman issued a statement about the blunder via Variety, in which she takes the Academy to task for not catching the error before airing the segment, and also makes it very clear that she’s very much alive.
I was devastated by the use of my image in place of my great friend and long-time collaborator Janet Patterson. 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.
There’s no word on a formal apology from the Academy, but maybe that’s because they sent it to The Piano director Jane Campion instead (with all those “J” names, someone was bound to get confused, right?). This was the second big goof-up of the night, which was preceded by this prescient tweet from Billy Eichner.