Cory Monteith Emmys Tribute Upsets Jack Klugman's Son, But Is He Right to be Angry?
In the wake of last night's Emmy Awards, it's not just the audience who left somewhat dissatisfied with the night's ceremony. Adam Klugman, son of The Odd Couple's Jack Klugman, is now publicly speaking out against the night's In Memoriams. More specifically, the fact that his father was not among the night's more highly honored.
This year's Emmy Awards featured somewhat of a new format when it came to honoring those who've passed: There was the usual slideshow of deceased actors, writers, producers, etc., but the ceremony itself was interspersed with more in-depth memoriams for people like Sopranos' James Gandolfini, All in the Family's Jean Stapleton, Mork and Mindy's Jonathan Winters, and Glee's Cory Monteith. Adam Klugman, who's father Jack passed away last December, is vehemently (and publicly) disagreeing with the omissions such a format requires.
We've written before about the nature of this year's In Memoriams — namely that who gets those prominent honors is not up for debate — but it makes sense that Klugman would be upset that his father was not deemed "worthy" (whatever that even means in this context) of inclusion. “I think it’s criminal,” Klugman said to the Associated Press. “My dad was at the inception of television and helped build it in the early days.”
He seems to specifically have a problem with Monteith's inclusion in the stand-out Memoriams, especially considering the fact that Monteith was the only one of the five individually honored not to have an Emmy nomination to his name. “What about the people who should be introduced to somebody like my father?” Klugman said. “I don’t mean to say anything disparaging about Cory, but he was a kid who had won no Emmys and it was a self-induced tragedy.”
Ken Ehrlich — executive producer of the Emmys and no doubt a man who has to deal with similar outcries every year when those who feel they or their families haven't been honored speak out in the show's wake — responded to Klugman's concerns in a statement, commenting that “to a younger generation, Cory Monteith’s portrayal of Finn Hudson [on Glee] was highly admired, and the producers felt that he should be included along with the four other individuals we have singled out."
These things are always tricky — when you're dealing with a loved one's memory things can get a little heated, and with good reason. We're not in the brains of the Emmy producers, so we can't speak for them beyond their statement, but we have let our feelings on the matter be known in the past. Klugman's anger makes sense — but should it really be directed at Monteith, whose death was no less or more tragic?