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Cory Monteith Emmy Tribute Criticized, Producers Respond

Cory Monteith
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

The 2013 Emmys, which air tonight (Sunday, Sept. 22) on CBS, will pay tribute to the stars we’ve lost in 2013 so far, among them actor James Gandolfini and ‘Glee‘ star Cory Monteith. Monteith died of a lethal drug cocktail in July while battling addiction issues. The production is being criticized for including the actor, who was only 31 at the time of death, in a tribute reserved for veterans.

Really? Really.

Emmy producer Ken Erlich had explained how the tribute would work, saying, “These five individuals brought us such great entertainment and joy, so having their close friends share personal remembrances is something that will be very meaningful for television audiences across the country and across the generations. And, our traditional In Memoriam segment will be presented in a unique new format that will give added importance to an already much anticipated segment of the Emmy show.”

Monteith will be memorialized by co-star Jane Lynch.

Erlich also responded to the backlash over including Monteith, defending the decision by saying, “It was a rather personal choice, but Cory’s appeal was to maybe a little different generation than some of the others we’re honoring.”

He furthered, “We felt it needed to be represented, that at 31, he passed away under very tragic circumstances. And that it was important to be responsive to younger viewers, to whom Cory Monteith meant as much as perhaps these other four individuals meant to their own generations.”

We couldn’t agree more. Monteith was an important and beloved figure to a young generation of TV viewers and to exclude him would be ridiculous, not to mention ageist.

Still, Erlich realizes that no matter what choice the Emmys make, they will have detractors. He said, “No matter what we do, there will be people who feel we could have made other options, and done other things.”

PopCrush thinks that that Emmys made the right choice to include Monteith. He is sorely missed.

Next: See Cory Monteith's Best 'Glee' Moments

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