At least the blasé, historically lowly rated 71st annual Primetime Emmy Awards can say it did something memorable (besides annoying everyone with stupid bits). During Sunday night's In Memoriam tribute, the Television Academy flashed a photo of composer Leonard Slatkin, who is very much alive, instead of composer Andre Previn, who died in February at age 89.
Slatkin was less than thrilled about the gaffe — not because he worried people might think he's a ghost, but because Previn was his friend and Slatkin thought the mix-up was extremely disrespectful.
I saw that @theemmys posted a photo of me "In Memoriam" rather than the intended Andre Previn. Andre deserved better. I had the opportunity to introduce him when he received the @KCHonors. Perhaps he was paying me back for a couple stories I told about him. Andre, R.I.P. pic.twitter.com/MDVX6H0igb— Leonard Slatkin (@LeonardSlatkin) September 23, 2019
At least the Emmys producers can take solace in the fact that flubbing an In Memoriam segment is par for the course when it comes to awards shows. At the 2017 Oscars, a similar mistake happened when the Academy Awards showed a picture of Jane Chapman, who is alive, while memorializing, Janet Patterson, who is deceased. If only there was an online search tool that allowed producers to type in a person's name and find photos. What a magical service that would be for this kind of scenario. Alas.