This year, because 2016 was a real doozy, we were all undoubtedly anxious about seeing the In Memoriam segment of the Oscars, not quite ready for those wounds to be reopened. But one person experienced an unexpected feeling of surprise at the reel: a producer named Jan Chapman, who literally saw herself in the segment—as in, her picture. The Academy mistakenly used an image of Chapman while honoring Janet Patterson, a four-time Oscar-nominated costume designer who died in October. Yikes.
Chapman released a statement to Variety, saying:
I was devastated by the use of my image in place of my great friend and long-time collaborator Janet Patterson. I had urged her agency to check any photograph which might be used and understand that they were told that the Academy had it covered. Janet was a great beauty and four-time Oscar nominee and it is very disappointing that the error was not picked up. I am alive and well and an active producer.
Well, that’s awkward, and probably fairly upsetting. To make things even more confusing, Chapman and Patterson (both of whom are Australian) worked on The Piano together, directed by Jane Campion. Reports are saying that there was a mishap with an attributed photo on Getty Images that lead to the confusion. The Academy hasn’t addressed this mishap yet. But thankfully, the rest of the night was incident-free. Well, except for that one thing.
To give the situation another level of ironic humor, amongst the Twitter clamoring about the Best Picture upset, Billy Eichner became the oracle that we needed but didn’t deserve. Check out his tweet below, an attempted explanation of The Great Envelope Swap of 2017 here and the night’s actual winners list here.