Last year the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences earned a certain negative notoriety for failing to include legendary director Stanley Donen, who passed on Thursday, 2.21.19, in the Oscar telecast’s “death reel” tribute, which aired three days later on Sunday, 2.24.19. Talk about your drag-ass approach to keeping up with breaking events.

Today Variety ‘s Brent Lang reported that this Sunday’s death reel will include Kirk Douglas, whose passing was announced yesterday. Lang reports that the reel had been locked but Douglas will be squeezed in regardless. That’s very accommodating of them. I know very little about editing but I’ve been told that slipping in a last-minute departure is no technical biggie.

Notice to Hollywood luminaries: Try to croak at least four days before the Oscar show. If you wait until Thursday you’ll probably be Donen-ized. Douglas would have presumably suffered the same fate if he’d expired this morning (2.6).

Or is this really a matter of status? Are you telling me that if, God forbid, Julia Roberts or Warren Beatty or Denzel Washington were to be struck dead by a lightning bolt on a golf course today or even tomorrow that the Academy would say “nope, sorry…too late for the death reel because we need more than three days.” I somehow doubt that.