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Did the Oscars Really Leave ‘Triangle of Sadness’s Charlbi Dean Out of Its In Memoriam Segment?

Charlbi Dean's Yaya hugs Dolly de Leon's Abigail in Triangle of Sadness

Every year, the Academy of Motion Pictures Art and Sciences incorporates an In Memoriam segment into its awards show to honor and celebrate the major contributors to the film industry who passed in the preceding year. Also, every year, they inevitably snub beloved figures in the industry because there are only so many names and faces they can fit into a three to five-minute segment. However, on March 12, many felt the 95th Academy Awards’ decision to leave out Charlbi Dean from its In Memoriam segment was disrespectful.

Dean was one of the lead stars of Triangle of Sadness, which scooped up a total of three Oscar nominations this year. The film’s premiere at the Cannes film festival on May 21, 2022, quickly brought attention to Dean’s talent as an actress. She had previously starred in Spud and the Arrowverse’s Black Lightning. However, her role as Yaya in Triangle of Sadness was considered her “breakout role” and aided in garnering the film’s critical acclaim, including a prestigious Best Picture nomination at the Oscars. In the film, Dean portrays Yaya, a young, wealthy model and social media influencer who must adapt to a reversal in roles and power when the luxury yacht she is a passenger on crashes on a remote island.

Sadly, Dean would never get to experience the critical acclaim of Triangle of Sadness. Just days before the film made its debut in North America, Dean passed away. She passed away on August 29, 2022, due to sepsis, which she was particularly vulnerable to due to having her spleen removed after a car crash in 2008. Director Ruben Östlund has worked to keep her memory alive, reflecting on the wrongness of her absence during the film’s press tours and the fact she didn’t get to see the culmination of this surge in her career. Hence, viewers were shocked by the young star’s absence in the Oscars’ In Memoriam segment.

Why wasn’t Charlbi Dean in the Oscars’ In Memoriam segment?

Charlbi Dean as Yaya eating spaghetti in Triangle of Sadness

This year’s Oscars’ In Memoriam segment touchingly honored figures such as Ray Liotta, James Caan, Raquel Welch, and Jean-Luc Godard to the backdrop of Lenny Kravitz’s emotional performance of  “Calling All Angels.” However, viewers couldn’t help but notice all the names not mentioned in the segment. Anne Heche, Paul Sorvino, Leslie Jordan, and Dean were among the most noticeable absentees from the segment. It was Dean’s absence that drew the most indignation, considering a film she starred in was in the running for Best Picture at that very awards show. As a result, it didn’t take long for social media users to slam the Oscars for the alleged snub.

The Academy has not publicly responded to the backlash for its failure to include Dean and multiple other prominent figures in the industry who passed in 2022. In Memoriam segments at award shows have become commonplace in the 21st century. These segments have also become exceedingly popular as they pay much-needed tribute to pioneers and contributors in various industries. However, such segments have also become highly controversial as it is sometimes simply impossible for every single prominent figure in each industry to be included in a segment that is usually limited to several minutes.

At this year’s Grammys, for example, outrage arose when figures like Aaron Carter, Gangsta Boo, Lil Keed, and Jeremiah Green were left out of the In Memoriam segment. The problem is that many of these segments, like the Oscars, are based on the significance of one’s contributions to the industry in question. Unfortunately, this is a subjective measure and means that not everyone will agree on what constitutes a “contribution.” However, most can agree that a talented lead actress in one of this year’s Best Picture nominees should be memorialized regardless of the Oscars’ definitions of contribution and status.

(featured image: Neon)

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Rachel Ulatowski is a Freelance Writer, blogger, and aspiring author. As a Freelancer Writer she hopes to give readers the same comfort and enjoyment that she finds in all things nerdy and noteworthy, as a blogger she enjoys snarking on YouTubers and reality stars, and as a future novelist she hopes to raise awareness for child abuse through literature.