— Alan Henry (@AlanHenry) February 27, 2017
While everyone at the Oscars was focused on the giant mix-up at the end of the award show, a pretty glaring mistake happened much earlier on in the broadcast. As Sara Bareilles sang a gorgeous rendition of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides, Now" during a heart-wrenching tribute to all of the icons Hollywood has lost over the last year, photos and names of iconic stars like Carrie Fisher, Prince, Anton Yelchin, and Mary Tyler Moore flashed on the screen in the background. At one point the name Janet Patterson — an Australian costume and production designer who passed away in October — appeared along with this photo:
Unfortunately that's not Janet Patterson. The four-time Oscar nominee who worked on films like The Piano and Far From the Madding Crowd was confused for her friend, frequent collaborator, and fellow Australian producer Jan Chapman (who is still very much alive). In a statement to Variety, Jan expressed her sadness over the error. "I was devastated by the use of my image in place of my great friend and long-time collaborator Janet Patterson," she said. "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."
Although a mistake like this is inexcusable, it looks like there's somewhat of a reason for the confusion. Not only did Janet and Jan work together on The Piano in 1993, but when you search for the name "Janet Patterson" on photo agencies like Getty Images, Jan's picture pops up. The Academy has yet to comment on its mistake, but Jan assures everyone that she's "alive and well and an active producer."