Although there will be some who will value the special tribute to late “Glee” star, Cory Monteith, which will play at the Emmys on Sunday, there are others who are less appreciative.
These include the family of Jack Klugman, who starred in “The Odd Couple,” and “Quncy, M.E.,” and who passed away last December.
Klugman’s son, Adam, is frustrated there will be a special honor exclusively to Monteith, who died in July of heroin and alcohol poisoning in Vancouver at the age of 31, and that the Emmy organizers decided to toss his father into the routine “In Memoriam” reel that includes many lesser-known actors and other behind-the-scenes personnel.
"They're celebrating this self-inflicted tragedy [referring to Monteith’s overdose] instead of celebrating the life of my father, who won three Emmys.... Cory Monteith never won an Emmy,” said Adam Klugman in an interview with the Associated Press today.
Klugman made it a point to emphasize that he has nothing against Monteith and is in fact a “Glee” fan. However, he also said that to “compare the contribution he made to the contribution my father made -- it doesn't compare."
This year’s “In Memoriam” section will feature, for the first time, special tributes to five notable television figures who passed away this year.
In addition to Monteith, the other honorees are “The Sopranos” actor James Gandolfini, “Family Ties” producer Gary David Goldberg, comedian and actor Jonathan Winters and “All in the Family” actor Jean Stapleton.
Monteith is by far the youngest of the group, and the only one to not be awarded an Emmy. He had yet to be nominated, in fact, before he died.
Critics were surprised that Larry Hagman of “Dallas” and Charles Durning of “Evening Shade” were not included in the special tributes list. Instead, they will be added in the group remembrance.
Emmys executive producer Ken Ehrlich released a statement about the controversy, saying, "Every generation of television viewers has its favorites, and when we decided to expand the 'In Memoriam' segment to remember certain individuals, we wanted these pieces to be representative as well. To a younger generation, Cory Monteith's portrayal of Finn Hudson was highly admired, and the producers felt that he should be included along with the four other individuals we have singled out."
Klugman, however, disapproved of this explanation.
"Let's call this what it is," he said. "They're doing this because they think they're gonna get a younger generation of viewers to watch."