Larry Hagman's Son Jumping on Emmys In Memoriam Controversy Bandwagon: This Needs to Stop
Okay, this is just getting out of hand now: Larry Hagman's son, Preston, is all atwitter over the perceived slight his father got at the 2013 Emmy Awards on Sunday night. Yep! Another son, hurt over an In Memoriam. As if Jack Klugman's son wasn't enough, nor the deafening roar of controversy surrounding the mini-tribute for Glee 's Cory Monteith, now we have to listen to Preston Hagman talk about what he perceives to be a "correct" way to remember someone, too? Give me a break.
This is an awards show. It's meant, in many ways, to honor the achievements and bereavements of the past year, but that also became a backseat issue the day the Emmy Awards went on air. Now it's all about the ratings. So naturally, the show is going to do what it can to gain — and keep — those ratings. Which means: knowing your audience and their attention spans. Sometimes that means big, show-stopping performances, an array of fabulous stars in fancy dresses, or funny moments of awkward nonsense. Other times that means messing with the formula and seeing what sticks.
Emmy host Neil Patrick Harris is quoted in the same article as Hagman's son, explaining that the change of format (and, in turn, varying length of tribute) was to keep the usually already-too-long and downer of a segment from becoming a "competition" for applause.
When you do something out of a perceived obligation, it does nothing to honor the memory of the people involved. Those who matter — fans and TV vets alike — ultimately do know the impact and importances of those that came before (like Hagman and Klugman and all the others who were also just as influential and important that did not get special treatment). And, really: Is a posthumous pissing contest really the best way to honor the memory of those who have come before and paved the way? Don't their achievements matter more?
Seriously, you guys: Stop caring about In Memoriam tributes. This is 2013. Do you think your dad, Mr. Hagman, would appreciate you creating an entire news cycle around the fact that you thought he was more deserving of a one minute-longer salute? I'm betting if he could hear you now, he'd tell you to get your head out of your ass. (Especially if he's anything like Albert Brooks.) If every single person on that list who has done something important, new, or trailblazing was honored at this nonsensical, purely personal opinion-based appropriate "level," the awards should would be 10 hours long. The thing would just be one big, long, sad bummer in the name of "respect." And nobody would want to watch that. And if nobody watched it, then there would be no Emmys. And then no place to show an In Memoriam segment at all.