The industry asked, and the Academy listened. At the end of tonight’s In Memoriam tribute to notable Hollywood figures who passed away during the year, the Oscars telecast acknowledged the death of second camera assistant Sarah Jones, who died in a train accident on the set of Midnight Rider less than two weeks ago. Following Bette Midler’s performance of “The Wind Beneath My Wings” after the traditional In Memoriam reel, a graphic memorializing Jones flashed onscreen. Jones is also included in the fuller Oscars In Memoriam gallery online.
2ND UPDATE, 8:45 PM: The tributes to Sarah Jones continue to pour in. Below is a photo posted at WhoSay featuring Paul Wesley and Nina Dobrev of CW’s The Vampire Diaries, the CW drama on which Jones worked. And action continues at the Facebook group Slates for Sarah, which now is past 21,500 likes. Other below-the-line workers are getting in on the act as well; among the more recent pics posted to the site are tributes to the late camera assistant adorning a walkie-talkie and a large power tool.
UPDATE, 6:00 PM: The Facebook group Slates for Sarah, which is gathering tribute photos for fallen Midnight Rider camera assistant Sarah Jones from production crews around the world, has now passed 18K “likes.” The online petition to include Jones in Sunday’s Oscar In Memoriam segment eclipsed its goal of 10,000 signatures within 12 hours Tuesday and now is approaching 13K. It will be submitted to the Academy on Friday.
PREVIOUS, 11:35 AM: A campaign to include Midnight Rider camera assistant Sarah Jones in this weekend’s Oscars In Memoriam tribute is gaining traction online, but time will tell if the Academy will acknowledge the increasingly vocal outcry within the production community to her tragic death. Jones, 27, died Thursday in a train collision on the set of director Randall Miller‘s Gregg Allman biopic that left several others injured in Jesup, GA. Her death has raised growing concerns within the industry about set safety and culpability as investigations into the accident continue. Related: ‘Midnight Rider’ Crew Member Killed In On-Set Train Accident Read More »
Adam Klugman is fuming over his father’s exclusion from an expanded special tribute at this weekend’s Primetime Emmys that includes Cory Monteith. “I think it’s criminal,” Klugman tells The Associated Press. “My dad was at the inception of television and helped build it in the early days.” Jack Klugman, a three-time Emmy winner and star of The Odd Couple and Quincy M.E., died in December. He, Larry Hagman and others who died in the past year will be part of a traditional In Memoriam remembrance during the awards ceremony, but not in a special tribute to five individuals: Monteith, James Gandolfini, Jean Stapleton, Jonathan Winters and Gary David Goldberg. The TV Academy announced the special tribute earlier this week. Adam Klugman took particular issue with Monteith’s inclusion. “It’s an insult and it really seems typical of this youth-centric culture that has an extremely short attention span and panders to only a very narrow demographic” of young adults, he said. The show’s exec producer Ken Ehrlich defended Monteith’s inclusion in a conference call with reporters earlier this week. “Cory’s appeal was to maybe a little different generation than some of the others, and we felt they needed to be represented,” Ehrlich said, reminding reporters that Monteith was “just 31” when he died under “very tragic circumstances.”
With trophy shows so dull these days — owing in large measure to the current trend toward laundry-list acceptance speeches delivered by Hollywood luminaries more frightened of forgetting to thank their agent, manager, publicist and spouse than of boring to death tens of millions of viewers — the broadcasting networks struggle to find ways to make sure the gowns are not the most interesting part of the broadcast. This morning, CBS and the TV Academy announced that, in addition to what has become the traditional In Memoriam segment, this weekend’s Primetime Emmy Awards broadcast will also include special tributes to recently deceased industry figures. For better or worse, death does well at trophy shows because viewers will pick watching beautifully decked-out celebrities having an actual genuine moment over beautifully decked-out celebrities thanking agents and lawyers any day. LL Cool J’s heartfelt prayer for the Whitney Houston — who had died the day before — followed by Jennifer Hudson’s moving performance of Houston signature song “I Will Always Love You” sent the 2012 Grammycast skyrocketing in the ratings, also on CBS.
Sadly, death has been a big story in the TV industry since the last Emmy ceremony, including the unexpected deaths of James Gandolfini and Cory Monteith. In Sunday’s special tributes, Edie Falco will remember her Sopranos co-star and Jane Lynch will remember her Glee colleague. Michael J. Fox, starring in a new NBC comedy, will pay tribute to Family Ties producer Gary David Goldberg. Robin Williams, starring in a new CBS comedy, will remember friend/mentor Jonathan Winters, and Rob Reiner will fete his longtime All In The Family castmate Jean Stapleton. Read More »