Cory Monteith Tribute at Emmys Stirs ControversyBy: Lacy Langley - September 22, 2013
The all-too-soon death of “Glee” star Cory Monteith in July left fans of the rising actor devastated. However, NBC reports that his inclusion in the prestigious Emmy Awards individual memorial tribute on the show tonight needs defending from some critics. Producers stated that Monteith would be remembered in a special “In Memoriam” segment alongside James Gandolfini, Jean Templeton and Jonathan Winters. But some critics argued that Monteith showed promise, but hadn’t lived long enough to fulfill it.
Variety’s Editor in Chief, Andrew Wallenstein wrote an opinion piece on the matter suggesting that “Monteith could have gone on to a tremendous career, but Larry Hagman, for instance, already had a tremendous career, and putting Monteith on a pedestal casts a shadow over the memory of this iconic “Dallas” star,” Wallenstein writes.
“The event should be first and foremost about recognizing a body of work,” he adds. “In that respect, the Emmys needs to aspire to timelessness, demonstrating its relevancy whether being watched on the night of the telecast or 20 years later. “The way to ensure it resonates both now and in the future is to stick to the accomplishments of the talent or the production,” Wallenstein says, arguing that Monteith showed promise yet unfulfilled.
He then added,”It’s about what has been achieved — not what could have been.”
However, Emmy Awards executive producer, Ken Ehrlich, defended his decision to include Monteith in the tribute on Saturday. He told Access Hollywood that critics should wait to see it before placing judgement.
“I do think when people see this, [when] they see that there’s kind of a message involved and what we’re saying about him, they may revise some of this early unfair advance criticism,” Ehrlich said. “I don’t want to go that far, but there certainly is — yes, there’s a message in this presentation that I think is a good message for people,” he added. “It does celebrate [Cory], because he really did significant work on that show, but it also, in a way, is a warning.”
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