The Academy Awards are probably just as well known for their gags, routines, and surprise guests as they are for the presentations themselves, but today more people are discussing someone who was not at the ceremony. Initially scheduled to make an appearance, San Francisco’s hero Batkid was cut from the final show at the last minute. After catching a lot of heat from both the press and social media yesterday, The Amazing Spider-Man star Andrew Garfield revealed that it was not him but the producers of the Academy Awards who were the true nemesis of Batkid.
Batkid is, of course, famous for his role in saving the city of San Francisco in an incredibly grand Make-A-Wish Foundation extravaganza. The young man, known by day as Miles Scott, is a cancer survivor who had spent most of his five short years battling leukemia. The San Francisco event was something for him to look forward to as he went through his treatments, and a celebration of his final treatment and remission. Batkid, with the help of thousands of volunteers and millions of fans, assisted the police in thwarting a bank robbery among other good deeds.
Much like Batman’s role to the fictional citizens of Gotham, Batkid served as a symbol of the good that can come when people band together. So, when his surprise Oscar appearance was cancelled after the boy had already participated in rehearsals, there was a bit of an uproar and the blame immediately went onto fellow guest Andrew Garfield. Speculation was based not only on the segment being cut, but Garfield was absent from the Academy Awards altogether. Originally scheduled to present the superhero video tribute, Garfield was replaced at the last minute by fellow comic book movie-star Chris Evans. Some outlets even reported an inside source blamed Garfield for walking out on the spot and leaving Batkid hanging. However, when a photo surfaced of Garfield and Batkid recreating their Academy Award segment in the boy’s hotel room, it became apparent that the Spider-Man actor was not the real nemesis.
Garfield has become known as someone who always goes above and beyond for his fans. At various times before and even during shooting of The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the affable actor has been spotted playing basketball in full Spider-Man regalia, showing up to Comic-Con with a Spider-Man mask on, and playing with a young onlooker also dressed like Spider-Man in between takes. So, it was not at all shocking to hear Garfield claim it was not in fact he who had cancelled the guest spot.
Garfield not only visited the boy’s hotel but spent the day at Disneyland with him. As it turns out, the segment was cut due to the tone not fitting in with the rest of the show–Batkid and Garfield’s segment was said to have been a tearjerker. The rest of the show, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, was quite lighthearted and quirky, and it was thought that the segment could disrupt the flow of the live event. So in the end, the Academy Awards were the real nemesis of Batkid, but Spider-Man swooped in to save the day. While it is disappointing that the young man did not get another moment in the spotlight, a day at Disneyland with Spider-Man is not such a bad consolation.
By Brian Moore