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Comedians Stage Oscars Stunt for 'Cancelled' Celebrities


Oscars

Valerie Macon/Getty Images

Ahead of Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony, a group of comedians will stage an elaborate, Oscars-inspired stunt to pay tongue-in-cheek tribute to celebrities who have been “cancelled” for varying reasons.

“Since 2017, celebrities and media personalities have been ‘dying off’ at an alarming rate due to a wide range of unforgivable misconduct,” the stunt’s organizers wrote in a statement announcing the event, adding: “Time to pour one out for these anti-heroes one last time.”

The satirical “in memoriam” montage is to take place tomorrow night at 6 p.m. at the Bowery Mural Wall on Houston Street in Manhattan. It will be beamed onto the wall from a projection system across the street.

At the base of the wall, a classical string group will perform in black tie formal wear, and a vocalist named Carly Atto will sing “Tears in Heaven,” according to Lucien Formichella, who conceived of the stunt.

His co-organizers are comedy writer Deanna Director, comedian Jeff Greenspan and director David Ma.

The montage is approximately one minute long, Formichella told Mediaite, but it will be looped repeatedly, featuring, among others, Kevin Spacey, Lori Loughlin and Harvey Weinstein, who is currently on trial in New York for felony charges including rape.

“To me, it’s really interesting how all these people were convicted of social crimes and real crimes, and everyone has a place under the umbrella of being cancelled,” Formichella said. “I just thought it would be really interesting to see that cross-section of people in the slideshow.”

Formichella, who is 22, said that he is curious how people on the streets will respond to the projection. “It’s satire, but you always run the risk of someone thinking it’s real,” he told Mediaite. “So I’ll be curious to see if that happens.”

The event will also be filmed, Formichella said, adding that he and his co-organizers plan to distribute, on the day of the Oscars, an edited video on social media that features the stunt as well as reactions to it.

“It’s certainly a topic that I would imagine is going to come up at the Oscars itself,” said Greenspan, who has experience staging disruptive events for the purpose of garnering attention.

“I think it’s an interesting conversation-starter,” he told Mediaite. “Or -ender, depending on who you’re talking to.”

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