Widow of ‘Goodfellas’ actor hopes politics wasn’t why he was left out of Oscars In Memoriam segment
EXCLUSIVE: Dee Dee Sorvino slammed the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences for leaving her late husband, 'Goodfellas' actor Paul Sorvino, out of the In Memoriam segment during the Oscars on Sunday night, telling Fox News Digital she hopes his right-leaning politics didn’t play a role.
The televised segment honored late actors Olivia Newton-John, Ray Liotta and others, but noticeably left out Sorvino, who worked alongside Liotta as 'Paulie' in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 crime drama 'Goodfellas.'
Sorvino died of natural causes in July at age 83.
His widow exclusively told Fox News Digital she 'started crying' and was instantly 'sick to my stomach' upon realizing the academy made the decision to leave her husband out of the televised memorial.
Instead, the academy shared a QR code that directed viewers to a more extensive online segment that included hundreds of names of late stars, including Sorvino.
'It’s so cold and callous,' Dee Dee said.
She said her friends and critics on social media immediately assumed her husband’s past support for the Second Amendment and former President Donald Trump was a factor, but she's not necessarily convinced.
'I really hope not,' she said when asked if his politics played a role in the academy's decision.
'My Republican friends said, ‘Oh, I bet it's because he's not liberal, or he's not woke,’' she said. 'I had hundreds of messages saying, ‘Oh, that's because he's a Republican.
'I don't know if that's the case… it's just conjecture.'
Dee Dee described her husband as a 'patriot,' who was 'pro-gun, and he was pro-Donald Trump, so that probably didn't help with the academy.'
She argued that politics 'shouldn't matter.'
'It should be a meritocracy,' she said. 'It should not be about that. 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.'
Dee Dee said she ultimately thinks it was an oversight by the academy, and that it wouldn’t be 'fair' to accuse it of snubbing her late husband over politics just yet.
'I just want to give them the benefit of a doubt that it was just a mistake,' she said.
The academy did not respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment. However, a spokesperson defended the decision in a statement to another outlet.
'The academy receives hundreds of requests to include loved ones and industry colleagues in the Oscars In Memoriam segment. An executive committee representing every branch considers the list and makes selections for the telecast based on limited available time. All the submissions are included on A.frame and will remain on the site throughout the year,' the statement said.
'Pathetic and ridiculous,' Sorvino tweeted Wednesday in response to the statement.
Paul Sorvino was known just as much for mob roles with the late James Caan in 'The Gambler' and working with Alan Arkin in 'The Rocketeer' and Warren Beatty in 'Dick Tracy' as he was for playing a crime-fighting cop in 'Law & Order.' He died at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, after suffering health issues, according to his representative.
Dee Dee remembered how Fox News played a pivotal part in their relationship, as they first met in the green room while waiting for separate appearances on the network and even announced their surprise elopement while on Neil Cavuto's show in 2015.
'If not for Fox, we would not be married. And Neil Cavuto, we called him Dr. Love,' she said. 'We would always joke about this because Paul knew he wanted to marry me right away.'
Fox News Digital's Tracy Wright contributed to this report.