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Oscars second blunder: still-alive producer mistaken as dead in In Memoriam

by Ainhoa Barcelona

In addition to the Best Picture gaffe, the Oscars saw an even worse blunder when a living Australian producer was mistaken as dead in the In Memoriam segment. Jan Chapman was horrified to see her photo appear in the tributes section of the night, alongside the name of costume designer Janet Patterson. Janet was a fellow Australian and four-time Oscar nominee who passed away in October 2016.

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She was honoured in the In Memoriam segment with the correct name and occupation, but the photo used was of Jan, who is still "alive and well". In a statement to Variety, the producer, who worked with Janet on The Piano, said: "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."

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Jan Chapman pictured with close friend Janet Patterson

The In Memoriam segment was mired with controversy this year. Some stars who passed away last year were not included in the tribute including Alexis Arquette, who died in September. Alexis starred in Pulp Fiction, The Wedding Singer and She's All That and was also highly regarded in the transgender community.

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Her sister Patricia Arquette told Vanity Fair: "I'm really bummed. For the In Memoriam, they left out our sister Alexis, and she was trans. We're living in a time right now where trans kids can't even go to the bathroom in schools and they're diminished in society. It's really unfortunate that the Oscars decided they couldn't show a trans person who was such an important person in this community. Because it could have meant a lot to [trans youths]."