Ceremony producers announced this week that five individual salutes would be included on Sunday night’s Emmy show in addition to the traditional “in memoriam” segment that groups together industry members who died in the past year. Jack Klugman will not be one of them. Klugman’s son says it’s an shame and an insult to the memory of the late TV veteran and three-time Emmy winner who starred in “The Odd Couple” and “Quincy M.E.,”.
“I think it’s criminal,” said Adam Klugman in an interview with The Associated Press. “My dad was at the inception of television and helped build it in the early days.” He added, “It’s an insult and it really seems typical of this youth-centric culture that has an extremely short attention span and panders to only a very narrow demographic” of young adults.”
Besides Cory Monteith, the “Glee” star who died in July of a heroin and drug overdose, those who will be honored are “The Sopranos” star James Gandolfini; Jean Stapleton of “All in the Family”; comedian and actor Jonathan Winters; and “Family Ties” producer Gary David Goldberg. Monteith, who was 31 when he died, is the youngest of the group. All the others are Emmy winners, but he had yet to be nominated in his short career.
In a statement, the Emmys executive producer Ken Ehrlich explained his reasoning, apparently a position that awards organizers often find themselves in when stars are absent from memorial segments. “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,” Ehrlich said.
However, for Adam Klugman, it’s a shamful occurence, as his father’s career spanned more than fifty years. His amazing accomplishments included lead-actor Emmys for acclaimed series “The Defenders” in 1961 and “The Odd Couple” in 1971 and ’73. He died last December at age 90.
“What about the people who should be introduced to somebody like my father?” he 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.”
Larry Hagman, Charles Durning, and Jack Klugman will be included in the group remembrance, an academy spokesman said Friday. The ceremony at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles airs at 8 p.m. EDT Sunday on CBS.
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