“Whoever did the in Memoriam segment at the Emmy’s is a disgrace for adding Anne Heche but not Olivia Newton-John,” tweeted one fan after the “In Memoriam” segment aired during the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards on Monday (Sept. 12). The segment, which featured John Legend singing “Pieces,” honored such legends that were lost in the past year, including Betty White, Bob Saget, James Caan, Gilbert Gottfried, Dean Stockwell, Michael Nesmith, Louie Anderson, and Sidney Poitier. However, fans noticed a lot of omissions this year, including the Grease star, who died in August at age 73 after a battle with breast cancer.
— aunt5152 (@aunt2463) September 13, 2022
Seriously @TelevisionAcad? You omit icon and Emmy winner @olivianj from your in memoriam? What child does your research? Embarrassing. Let’s not talk about her groundbreaking tv specials, movies and Sordid Lives series?? And Norm MacDonald – a nominee this year? Sad. #Emmys2022
— Michael Caprio (@MikeCaprio) September 13, 2022
Did the #Emmys seriously forget Olivia Newton John in the In Memoriam segment. She did several TV Movies & Special. What gives?
— Deb💫🌺🌷🌸 (@DeeNY___45) September 13, 2022
“[The Emmys], you seriously left out [Olivia Newton John] from the memorial segment? Does anyone on your team earlier she WON an Emmy & was nominated for others. A gross oversight & proof of how out of touch the event is,” tweeted one angry account. Olivia did win a Daytime Emmy Award in 1999 for Outstanding Original Song for a track she contributed to the daytime serial drama, As The World Turns. She also had noted roles on Sordid Lives: The Series, Bette, Ned and Stacey, and Murphy Brown (not to mention her multiple cameos on shows like Dancing with the Stars and RuPaul’s Drag Race.) “OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN NOT BEING INCLUDED??? EXPLAIN YOURSELVES #EMMYS,” demanded one fan.
The Television Academy did include Olivia Newton-John in its “In Memoriam” page online. Still, as Deadline noted, the segment failed to recognize stars like Norm Macdonald, Larry Storch (from F-Troop), Maggie Peterson of The Andy Griffith Show, and Beverly Hills, 90210 stars Denise Dowse and Joe E. Tata. The segment memorialized stars like Vin Scully, Nichelle Nichols, and Howard Hesseman, but the lack of certain stars left viewers angry and confused.
Olivia passed away “peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California” on Aug. 8, according to a statement announcing her death. “Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years, sharing her journey with breast cancer,” the post added. “Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer.”
Two weeks after Olivia’s passing, her daughter, Chloe Lattanzi, posted a quote from Jamie Anderson that said that grief “is really just love. It’s the love you want to give, but cannot.”