I bet you thought the Oscars on Sunday night had already gotten as bizarre as they were likely to get, but the hits just keep on coming. It turns out that, according to The Independent, Oscars In Memoriam segment honored a producer who is still alive. That's right. On the same night that the wrong movie was crowned Best Picture and the cast and crew got all the way onto the stage before realizing the mistake, the Academy also prematurely announced the death of, and honored, a woman who is still actively working as a producer. Bustle has reached out to the Academy for comment on this story, but did not immediate receive a response.
That woman was Jan Chapman, whose photo was shown on the slide for Janet Patterson, a costume designer from Australia who received four nominations for her work on The Piano, Portrait of a Lady, Oscar and Lucina and Bright Star. Patterson died in October 2016 after a 30-year career in the industry. Jan Chapman, on the other hand, is also Australian, a producer rather than a costume designer, and also still very much alive.
Chapman and Patterson were not only friends after working together on The Piano, but Chapman actually did her best to prevent this kind of situation. Here's the statement that she issued to Variety on the bizarre mix-up:
"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."
That must have been a tough situation for all involved. Chapman was coping with already coping with the death of a friend and colleague, only to see Patterson's moment of honor at the Oscars turn out this way. And the Academy is facing a lot of criticism and chatter about the errors in the Feb. 27 broadcast, of which this is one major one. Hopefully, next year's Oscars will be an improvement on Sunday night's.