emmys 2019

The Emmys Mistook Leonard Slatkin (Alive) for André Previn (Dead) in the In Memoriam

Leonard Slatkin and André Previn. Photo: Getty Images

Honoring the creatives who have recently died is one of the most important jobs an awards show has to do. Yes, right up there with making sure the correct envelope goes out, basic respect for the dead should be done properly. Yet somehow … year after year … awards show after awards show … there’s an “In Memoriam” mishap. At the 2019 Emmy Awards Sunday night, renowned composer André Previn, who died earlier this year, was honored in the slideshow. Except the man they showed onscreen was not André Previn. It was Leonard Slatkin, another composer, who per his last tweet, is very much alive.

“I saw that @theemmys posted a photo of me ‘In Memoriam’ rather than the intended Andre Previn,” he tweeted. “Andre deserved better. I had the opportunity to introduce him when he received the @KCHonors. Perhaps he was paying me back for a couple stories I told about him.” Handling it much more gracefully than he should, Slatkin simply did the appropriate thing: show respect for Previn and his legacy. Is that so hard, Emmys? The awards show is certainly not the first offender. In 2017, the Oscars used a photo of nominee Jan Chapman for the late costume designer Janet Patterson. But at least that one wasn’t set to a Halsey cover of “Time After Time.”

The Emmys In Memoriam Featured Someone Who Is Still Alive