BAFTA Faces Backlash Over Late Actor Matthew Perry Tribute Snub

BAFTA Faces Backlash Over Late Actor Matthew Perry Tribute Snub
BAFTA Faces Backlash Over Late Actor Matthew Perry Tribute Snub
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A wave of calculated indignation surged through the Internet as ardent Matthew Perry fans propelled a fervent backlash against the 2024 British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA), accusing the awards show of woefully disrespecting the late star. The BAFTA In Memoriam segment, intended to pay tribute to stars we lost in the preceding year, seemed to have delivered a grave oversight. It tumultuously omitted Perry from its lineup, leading observers, and Perry’s loyal followers, to question, with serious consternation, the criteria by which the Academy assigns recognition to industry figures worldwide.

During the annual awards soiree on Sunday, BAFTA had paid tribute to distinguished stars who had passed away in the previous year; notable mention included the likes of Richard Roundtree, Tina Turner, Michael Gambon, and Carl Weathers. However, conspicuously missing from this mournful roll call was Matthew Perry, invoking a thunderstorm of protest among ‘Friends’ fanatics. Matthew Perry, a penetrating motif of the iconic sitcom, tragically passed away in October at just 54 years old.

His absence in the In Memoriam segment sparked an enraged outcry on social media platforms. Outraged fans voiced their incredulity with such incendiary remarks as, “No mention of Matthew Perry in the #BAFTAs memorial?! Bad form [BAFTA],” and “No Matthew Perry in the #BAFTAs memorium?? Feels a tad disrespectful. Did they just forget?” It was clear that the omission was considered by many to be a flagrant insult to Perry’s memory and his artistic contributions.

Amid this crescendo of dissent, BAFTA’s senior management felt the prickle of admonishment and responded to the fans with a rebuttal and assurance. Paving way for mitigating some of the disapproval, an official statement from the BAFTA spokesperson posted on NBC News confirmed that the academy would correct its error by honoring Perry in the forthcoming BAFTA Television Awards slated for May 2024.

The BAFTA website, ostensibly sympathizing with Perry’s fans, has since launched a tribute to the late actor, best known for his role as Chandler Bing in “Friends.” However, Perry had also flexed his thespian muscle on the silver screen in numerous movies throughout the 90s and 2000s, with notable roles in “Fools Rush In,” “Three To Tango,” and “17 Again,” thus warranting his due share of recognition.

In December, it was tragically reported Perry’s death was ruled an “accidental” consequence of an acute ketamine overdose causing “cardiovascular overstimulation and respiratory depression”. Being the sole actor to appear in all 234 episodes across 10 seasons of “Friends,” Perry had openly shared his years-long personal struggle with alcohol and prescription painkiller addiction.

The BAFTA’s flagrant oversight offers an urgent reminder of the importance of accuracy in posthumous recognition, particularly in widely viewed events such as the BAFTA Awards. The incident lays bare the uncomfortable reality that no one, not even a globally renowned organization like BAFTA, is immune from public backlash when a perceived disrespect, whether intentional or accidental, strikes a chord with emotionally invested fans. It’s an acute lesson in tending to public sentiment, but it also reiterates to those in executive decisions’ positions that the public ever watches, and ever cares—who is remembered matters, and sometimes, the absence of recognition can speak even louder than the tribute itself.

Next News Network Team

Next News Network Team

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