The wife of the late Hollywood actor Paul Sorvino believes he might have been left out of the “In Memoriam” segment during Sunday’s Academy Awards telecast because he was a conservative.
Viewers argued Sorvino should have been included in the tribute to Hollywood figures who died over the past year for his iconic role in “Goodfellas” alone.
But beyond his prominent role as Paul Cicero in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 epic gangster hit, Sorvino’s film, TV and theater career spanned seven decades.
He died July 25 at age 83.
One of his “Goodfellas” co-stars, Ray Liotta, was recognized during the Oscars tribute. Liotta died May 26.
On Wednesday morning, NBC News shared on Twitter that the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences had “defended its in memoriam tribute to late actors and artists after facing backlash for leaving some big names off the list.”
“The Academy receives hundreds of requests to include loved ones and industry colleagues in the Oscars In Memoriam segment,” the academy said in a statement, according to the linked article. “An executive committee representing every branch considers the list and makes selections for the telecast based on limited available time.”
Sorvino’s widow, Dee Dee, was blunt in her response.
“Pathetic and ridiculous,” she said on Twitter.
Pathetic and ridiculous https://t.co/tnbLWc0Sxk
— Dee Dee Sorvino (@deedeegop) March 15, 2023
During an interview with Fox News, she shared a theory as to why her late husband might have been snubbed Sunday: He was a conservative.
Dee Dee said the academy’s decision to leave Sorvino out of the tribute crushed her.
She said she cried and was “sick” to her stomach once she realized Sunday evening that her late husband had been snubbed.
“It’s so cold and callous,” Dee Dee Sorvino told Fox News.
She said people close to her offered up her husband’s politics as a likely explanation for why he was ignored.
“I really hope not,” she said.
“My Republican friends said, ‘Oh, I bet it’s because he’s not liberal, or he’s not woke,’” Sorvino told Fox News. “I had hundreds of messages saying, ‘Oh, that’s because he’s a Republican.’”
She described the late actor as a pro-Second Amendment patriot and a skilled actor.
Sorvino said her husband was “pro-gun, and he was pro-Donald Trump” and “that probably didn’t help with the academy.”
“It should be a meritocracy,” she argued. “It should not be about [politics]. And that is why it’s so upsetting, because nobody can say Paul is a bad actor. Nobody can say he was mediocre. Everybody said Paul was one of the best actors ever, and that’s what he should be judged on.”
In 2017, after former President Donald Trump was inaugurated, Paul and Dee Dee Sorvino both spoke to Fox Business about Hollywood’s liberal politics.
“I think the studio people, the business people – I think they are a little cooler about it,” said Dee Dee, an actress herself. “But it’s these actors, these crazy actors … they are insane … Unless you say you hate Trump, you are not part of their club.”
Paul Sorvino then referenced liberal entertainers who had vowed to leave the country if Trump were elected in 2016.
“You know what, where are all the people who are going to Canada? I have a lot of money saved. I put it aside to give them all tickets and I haven’t seen anybody take it up,” he said.
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