Sunday's Emmy Awards will pay special tribute to five television stars who died in the past year, and one of them is Cory Monteith.
"It was a rather personal choice," executive producer Ken Ehrlich told the New York Daily News about including Monteith with James Gandolfini, "Family Ties" producer Gary David Goldberg, Jean Stapleton and Jonathan Winters. "Cory's appeal was to maybe a little different generation than some of the others we were honoring."
Critics have slammed the TV Academy's decision to include the "Glee" star, who died in July of mixed drug toxicity.
"The unspoken, uncomfortable truth of the matter is that while the work he did on 'Glee' showed great promise, it was not equal to the incredible careers the other four amassed," read an editorial on Variety.com.
"But the Emmys should be held to a higher standard. The event should be first and foremost about recognizing a body of work. 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. It's about what has been achieved - not what could have been."
To that end, others have argued that Larry Hagman and Jack Klugman would have been more suitable candidates for the memorial tribute. Again, Ehrlich defended the Academy's choice.
"In all candor, this became a producer's option," he said. "We selected these five individuals knowing that there were certainly others that could have been treated this way."
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