During the virtual ceremony on Sunday, Sept. 20, H.E.R. gave a moving performance of "Nothing Compares 2 U" as the names and pictures of actors, producers, executives, writers and directors who had died in 2020 were shown on-screen in tribute. Among the late stars mentioned were Regis Philbin, Naya Rivera, James Lipton, Jerry Stiller, Kirk Douglas and Chadwick Boseman. Jimmy Kimmel paid tribute to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on Friday, Sept. 18, as he introduced the segment.
However, as the internet was quick to notice, Nick Cordero, Kelly Preston and Kobe Bryant were not mentioned. Bryant, who tragically died in a helicopter crash in January, had won a Sports Emmy Award in 2018 and was posthumously honored with the Los Angeles Area Emmy Governors Award in July. Preston, who held various TV roles throughout her career, died from breast cancer in July. Broadway star Nick Cordero, who also had a mix of smaller TV roles on his résumé over the years, died in July, nearly four months after he was admitted to the hospital with coronavirus.
E! News has reached out to the Television Academy for comment.
Meanwhile, fans online were less than pleased. "Hey @TheEmmys on @ABCNetwork. Why wasn't @iamNickCordero included in your #InMemoriam?" one Twitter user pointed out. "He was on TV shows like @BlueBloods_CBS and @nbcsvu. Plus he died from #COVID19. Disappointed at the #Emmys #NickCordero."
"Umm @TheEmmys how do you manage to leave out Kobe Bryant from the In Memoriam while filming at Staples Center?" another critic asked.
As for Preston, "Kelly Preston was better known for film, but she made appearances on television shows and deserved to be included in the In Memoriam," a third tweet stated.
A longer In Memoriam video posted on the Emmys website, which listed late Hollywood figures in alphabetical order, featured Preston, Cordero and Bryant's names.
The Emmys' In Memoriam online database, which is said to include information for "the men and women who were included in the televised In Memoriam segment, as well as many others who were not," does include Preston and Cordero, but not Bryant.
On Monday, Sept. 21, Cordero's friend Zach Braff tweeted, "For those wondering: The Emmys chose to leave Nick Cordero out of the memorial montage. I had no idea one had to campaign to get their loved one in. We did. They passed."
He also tweeted out an excerpt, which he captioned "From the Emmys."
"They did want me to pass along this note," the excerpt began. "Those involved in the In Memoriam selection process are every aware of the sad passing of Mr. Cordero due to coronavirus and we assure her that his name has been given every consideration for inclusion. With so many people passing in any given year, we simply cannot ensure any particular individual is included, nor do we release the names of those included prior to the telecast."