The son of legendary television actor Jack Klugman is outraged that the producers of Sunday night's Emmy Awards chose to highlight the memory of the late "Glee" star Cory Monteith over his father.
The Emmy organizers chose to change up this year's "In Memoriam" segment with special individualized tributes to five actors, including Monteith, who died from heroin and alcohol poisoning in July at age 31.
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Klugman, a three-time Emmy winner whose five-decade career included notable roles on "The Odd Couple" and "Quincy, M.E.," was tossed in with the group remembrance. He died in December 2012 at age 90.
The late actor's son, Adam Klugman, spoke out ahead of Sunday's show and said he feels his father should have been afforded a separate tribute.
"I think it's criminal," Adam Klugman told The Associated Press.
"My dad was at the inception of television and helped build it in the early days. ... They're celebrating this self-inflicted tragedy instead of celebrating the life of my father, who won three Emmys. ... Cory Monteith never won an Emmy.
"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."
Emmy producers, however, defended the decision to honor Monteith — along with James Gandolfini, Gary David Goldberg, Jean Stapleton, and Jonathan Winters — separately.
"No matter what we do, there will be people who feel we had other options and could have done other things," producer Ken Ehrlich told The Hollywood Reporter
. "In all candor, this becomes a producer's option. And in this case, we selected these five knowing certainly others could be treated this way, but these were the five we chose."
Ehrlich also tried to explain the reasoning behind the organizers' selections
"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," he said in a statement. "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."
But that explanation did little to convince Klugman.
"Let's call this what it is," he told the Los Angeles Times.
"They're doing this because they think they're gonna get a younger generation of viewers to watch."
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