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BAFTA Responds to Matthew Perry Omission From In Memoriam



The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has confirmed that Matthew Perry will be honored at its TV awards later this year following backlash over his omission from the film awards’ In Memoriam segment on Sunday evening.

Although Perry, who died last October, was best known for his 10-year stint as Chandler Bing on hit TV show “Friends,” he also appeared in a number of popular feature films in the late 1990s and early 2000s, including “The Whole Nine Yards” alongside Bruce Willis and “Fools Rush In” opposite Salma Hayek.

This year’s In Memoriam segment, set to a special arrangement of Cyndi Lauper’s “The After Time” performed by “Ted Lasso” star Hannah Waddingham, featured Jane Birkin, Shirley Anne Field, Richard Roundtree, Michael Gambon, Tom Wilkinson and Carl Weathers, among others. The segment also paid tribute to Tina Turner, who was commemorated as both an actor and singer.

BAFTA confirmed to Variety that Perry will be remembered at its TV ceremony later this year. “Matthew Perry will be remembered in the forthcoming BAFTA Television Awards in May,” a spokesperson said.

Perry died on Oct. 28, 2023, at the age of 54. He was found unresponsive in a hot tub at his Los Angeles home, according to law enforcement. The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office later revealed that the actor died from “the acute effects of ketamine.”

Back in January, Perry received an emotional tribute during the 2023 Emmys In Memoriam segment, as pop singer Charlie Puth and singer-songwriter duo The War and Treaty delivered a stripped-down cover of the “Friends” theme song (“I’ll Be There for You” by The Rembrandts).

It’s not the first time BAFTA’s In Memoriam segment has caused controversy. Last year “Doctor Who” actor Phil Davis claimed he was resigning from the organization after the awards show failed to honor Bernard Cribbins, who starred in “The Railway Children.” Cribbins was later included in the TV awards In Memoriam.

Last month Kate Beckinsale also shared her anger online after claiming BAFTA had told her they “could not guarantee” her stepfather, director Roy Battersby, would be included in the In Memoriam segment following his death on Jan. 10. BAFTA confirmed to Variety Battersby would also be honored during the TV awards this spring.


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