Oscars criticised after Naya Rivera was left out of memorial montage

Jennifer Savin
·2-min read
Photo credit: Jon Kopaloff - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jon Kopaloff - Getty Images

Last night saw the return of the in-person Oscars – while many were happy with the event and having some red carpet gowns to pore over, the awards ceremony has also been criticised for missing out one much-loved name from its traditional memorial montage: Naya Rivera.

Actress Naya, best known for her roles as Santana Lopez in Glee and Colette Jones in Step Up: High Water, sadly died last July during after drowning while out on a boat with her young son, Josey. She also acted in films such as Mad Families, alongside Charlie Sheen, and indie horror, Home.

Viewers of the Oscars took to social media to express their unhappiness over Naya's omission from the montage reel and instead decided to share their own tributes to her. Names that were featured include Black Panther star and 2021 Oscar nominee Chadwick Boseman, who sadly passed away of colon cancer last August, James Bond star Sir Sean Connery and Batman Forever director Joel Schumacher.

Writing on Twitter about Naya's absence, one fan said, "Since The Academy, along with the GRAMMYs, decided yet again not to include Naya Rivera in the tribute section of their 3 hour long show, we again have to do it for them. You’re with us forever and your talent / legacy will span beyond generations. I love you #Oscars."

Photo credit: Gregg DeGuire - Getty Images
Photo credit: Gregg DeGuire - Getty Images

Plenty more echoed that sentiment, with another saying, "Since the Oscars didn’t I will. In memory of Naya Rivera. A beautiful soul taken to soon. I’m so sorry your memory is being disrespected. We will always stand up for your memory and remember your talent and all the amazing things you did. We love and miss you angel."

One also said,"#Oscars didn't, so I'm doing it. IN MEMORIAM OF NAYA RIVERA."

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A further social media user added that the entire memorial section itself felt off the mark, with the choice of music being too happy and the speed at which people were mentioned being too quick. "What is this music?? So upbeat and fast....we’re supposed to be honoring the dead. C’mon..."

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While some have suggested Naya wasn't included in the memorial segment as she predominantly worked in television rather than film, others pointed out that there have been many notable movie names absent from the reel in previous years too (such as Verne Troyer, Luke Perry and Alexis Arquette).

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