Miles Scott, the 5-year old “Batkid” and leukemia patient who won America’s hearts late last year when the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the city of San Francisco helped fulfill his dream of becoming a superhero, was scheduled for a surprise appearance at the 86th Academy Awards this past Sunday. But the segment was pulled the day of the award ceremony, with little explanation offered for the late cancelation.
Miles’ mother, Natalie Scott, said that Miles was invited to participate in the star-studded ceremony, and the Scott family traveled to Los Angeles from Northern California for what was supposed to be a big day. Miles – outfitted in a tuxedo -- attended a rehearsal at the Dolby Theater on Saturday, but on Sunday morning the Scotts were told he would no longer be part of the ceremony.
“I don’t know if they ran out of time, of if there was something about the segment they didn’t like,” Scott said. “It got pulled so quickly that we didn’t have a lot of insight into what was going on.”
Asked if the family was disappointed, Scott said, “Well, kind of... We had gone all the way down there, and he went through the rehearsal and he had a fancy tux and was all ready for it."
Scott said that the trip itself was planned on fairly short notice, and that the family has yet to receive any follow-up from the Academy about what happened. “We haven’t really heard anything. We just tried to make the most of the trip, and just got home [Wednesday] night.”
Miles’ mother said that her son – who has completed treatment and is doing very well – took the cancelation in stride. “We told him that it didn’t work out, but we ended up having fun anyway.
“It is kind of a disappointment, but things happen,” Scott continued. “I know that’s how TV goes and how Hollywood is. We’re just not used to that; we’re from a really small town.”
A spokesperson for the Make-A-Wish foundation said that the nonprofit had little to do with the planning of the event, and had no involvement at all with the decision to cut the segment. “I don’t know whose decision it was, but it was not our decision,” Josh DeBerge said.
Both DeBerge and Natalie Scott confirmed that Patricia Wilson, the executive director of the Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area chapter, accompanied the family to Los Angeles. DeBerge said the Scotts were invited directly by the Academy, and that Miles’ parents subsequently extended an invitation to the Make-A-Wish executive, with whom the family has a prior relationship. (Wilson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)
“We have regular interaction with celebrities, television productions, and other high-profile events and unfortunately we’ve learned that sometimes these type of things happen for a number of different reasons,” DeBerge said. “Regardless, we shared in the family’s disappointment.
“Any questions related to why it happened should be directed to the Academy,” he added.
The Academy has not responded to numerous inquiries.
Scott said that her son’s two front teeth had been loose for several days, and that Miles finally pulled one out Thursday morning.
“He was hanging on to them so he could wear them with his tux,” she said.