Does Cory Monteith Deserve A Special Emmy Memorial? (Opinion)

cory monteith glee death

Tragic as his death was, 'Glee' star did not have body of work worthy of special treatment

That “Glee” star Cory Monteith will be among an exclusive group of actors getting a special memorial tribute at the Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday was to be expected given the industry and its fans are still reeling from his recent loss.

But it is questionable whether the TV Academy is doing the right thing with this tribute.

When Monteith’s name is elevated alongside the other four people who are being elevated from the usual In Memoriam reel — actors James Gandolfini, Jean Stapleton and Jonathan Winters and writer-producer Gary David Goldberg — his inclusion risks coming across ill-considered. 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.

SEE ALSO: Notable TV Deaths in 2013 (PHOTOS)

That doesn’t make the loss of Monteith any less tragic. Nor should questioning his exclusion be misinterpreted as a judgment being made about the circumstances of his death. To the contrary, the Emmy recognition will put deserved focus on the perils of drug addiction.

But to merit special treatment like what the Academy is doing here, an actor should have a body of work that puts him head and shoulders above his peers. There will surely be disagreement from his ardent fans, but if Monteith had really achieved that status, those accolades would have been coming even before his death. Unlike many of his co-stars, Monteith never received an Emmy nomination.

Does a distinctive role on a TV show does automatically merit the kind of memorial Monteith is getting here? You could argue that Gandolfini is in essentially the same category, but that only brings the difference between Monteith and someone of Gandolfini’s caliber into sharper relief. What Gandolfini did on “The Sopranos” inarguably transformed the medium of television; can we really say the same about Monteith on “Glee?”

By putting Monteith in this elite group, the Academy is risking having its honorable intentions misconstrued as using the actor’s memory to cater to the younger audiences that are in decreasingly short supply for award shows these days. The Emmy Awards is a business that requires generating TV ratings to maximize advertising dollars, but that needs to be balanced with the need for the Academy to maintain appropriate perspective in recognizing excellence and influence in television.

Then there is delicate matter of considering how elevating Monteith has an impact on the perception of both the other actors who he is being grouped alongside as well as the dozens of others who are being relegated to the standard In Memoriam tribute. 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.

Questioning Monteith’s place in this special memorial cuts to the heart of what the Emmys are all about. If the event’s primary function is to give a sense of the emotional state of the audience at a given time, then Monteith certainly belongs where the Academy has put him.

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.

If you agree or disagree, let us know in the comments section below.

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  1. Leo Corbett says:

    While it certainly is tragic that Cory passed away the way he did, I fully agree with Andrew in saying that his quality of work did not match up to the rest of the actors honoured. Personally, I don’t think that his death did anything to highlight the dangers of substance abuse – if anything it did more to glorify it. I’m not saying that what happened to him wasn’t tragic, but one must remember that he chose this path for himself.

  2. John says:

    They only gave him a memorial because he was a staple character in a tv series that professed liberal views and was popular with the under 30 demo. That’s it. Oh, and he died at a tragic death. If he was a supporting character on Mad Men this Emmy tribute would NEVER had happened let alone his name being a contender for such a thing.

    It ain’t rocket science why Cory was picked.

  3. This Glee actor, if you could even call him that. Full time junkie, part time actor is more like, is totally undeserving of a special memorial reel when there are far greater talents, with a far more impressive repetoire to rest upon. Cory was a “could have been”, but he was not a contender. It is insulting to the old guard that someone like this should be raised above the likes of Jack Klugman and Larry Hagman in order to pander to a demographic who has no clue what real talent is. Despicable, I hope the academy is shamed for this. It is truly disgraceful.

  4. Chantal says:

    I will say this I am glad that the tribute of Cory was done but to put him in and not put in Jack Klugman and and Larry Hagman is not right.

  5. Chantal says:

    I love Cory and I love Glee but I don’t think he deserved this tribute over TV legends Jack Klugman and Larry Hagman. The tribute to Cory was beautiful but not deserved he should have been included with the memorial photo montage.

  6. Hooman says:

    There was nothing EXTRA special about Cory’s body of work. He deserved a mention. That is it.

  7. Lynda Bar says:

    Maybe this tribute should have been separate from the other memorials, but nonetheless it should have been done. The important message of showing how talented Cory Monteith was and bringing attention to what could have been, should not be downplayed.

    While Cory Monteith did not have the accomplished years of acting the others in the tribute had, he was an extremely talented and important part of many younger people’s lives. No matter the reason of his death, he died. Younger people believe they are immortal, death is something that happens to the generation that is much older than them. Cory was part of their generation. Fans identified with Finn Hudson through Cory Moteith. The young people realized they are only mortals.

    To the younger generation Finn Hudson gave hope to many who would like to be a part of a music program and share their talents but do not because it isn’t cool. Finn Hudson was a cool quarterback that put his popularity on the line and became part of the Glee Club. Through Cory Monteith, Finn brought hope to many young people.

    Also, Cory Monteith took the time to send tweets to his fans. He took the time to communicate with them and in turn fans felt they were a part of Cory’s every day life. It would be almost impossible for the older generation to understand this as actors and other famous individuals were not known on that personal level.

    The loss of Finn and Cory’s life was monumental to the younger generation. It has had a huge impact on them. The Emmy Awards was a perfect place for Cory to be honored, to remember the talent that was important but cut short, and most importantly how fragile life is. The decisions we make each and every day have a ripple effect and affect others as well as ourselves.

    I also agree that actors such as Jack Klugman and Larry Hagman, who were well known and loved by our generation, could have been added to the Memorial. I would have appreciated the time being taken, if necessary, from some of the extra entertainment, to focus on these two actors.

    It shouldn’t have been and either or, but a both and, for different important reasons.

  8. susan says:

    I feel the Emmy producers are using Monteith to draw in his demographic. But, since the only compass (unfortunately) appears to be money, they fit right in with all the other cheap and debasing shows that litter our airways. I agree these special honors belong to people of accomplishment – not potential accomplishment.

  9. jacqui says:

    This boy is DEAD.. he did not ask for this tribute, leave his picture and name out of it.. for the love of GOD imagine being his parents and seeing all this hate about their dead son? Bitch at the show not the dead actor.. UGH.. HUMANITY HAS LOST ALL COMPASSION!

  10. Ali says:

    So does touching and changing millions of lives for the better not count? Does a young, worthy life dripping with potential for the future deserve nothing? He may not have done a lot of shows, but he sure did a lot of good. Cory was loved by the entire world. Was he really not good enough to be honored for a short amount of time? Not worthy enough? Because I think he was. and I know million upon millons will agree.

  11. Ray says:

    The Emmys have officially been bastardized.

  12. Rose says:

    I suspect the folks behind this decision are hoping for a mass tune-in from the young viewers still completely devastated by his tragic death. One look on Twitter shows the sheer amount of grief still very palpable. As always, ratings are king.

  13. Allison says:

    Cory Monteith deserves a special tribute at the Teen Choice Awards, not the Emmy Awards. He was not nominated for an Emmy during his lifetime, unlike his colleagues Chris Colfer (nominated twice for his work in Glee) and Jane Lynch (2010 Emmy winner for her work in Glee).

    Comparing Cory Monteith with James Gandolfini is absurd. Gandolfini is most famous for playing Tony Soprano (winning the Emmy for Best Leading Actor twice) but his career spanned a quarter of a century and included other television shows, movies, and theater. He appeared in several plays on Broadway before being cast in The Sopranos, and was nominated for a Tony Award for his 2009 performance in God of Carnage. Gandolfini won a Golden Globe, three SAG Awards for Best Actor, and was nominated for too many other awards to list.

    Monteith was reportedly a very nice person, beloved by millions, and he will be missed by his family, friends, and fans, but he was not among the great actors of his time. He should not be given more attention at the Emmy Awards in death than he earned for his actual work while he lived.

  14. J says:

    So it was ok to honor Michael Jackson, who also died of an overdose and was an accused child molester over Farrah Fawcett, a member of the academy who died of a long battle with colon cancer?

  15. Rod says:

    So, a young man, whose drug habit ended his life, at an early age, is more worthy of honor than a man with a lifetime career, who died of old age? And then they have the nerve to suggest that the decision was “about accomplishments, rather than what could have been”? I think this is all about attracting a young audience, so as to improve ratings.
    And to those who consider a drug addiction a disease, even if you believe that to be true, anyone who develops cancer, for example, and does not seek treatment, then dies from it, is not someone who deserves a tribute.

    • Sharon Levy says:

      Exactly,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,politics even in death,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,so many old timers never gets mentioned,,,,,I’m still bummed Bob Hope was never recognized………what a pity

  16. Brittany Nicole Bertolis says:

    The way I see all of this is Cory was the lost sweetest and amazing man that I have ever enjoyed watching on tv. I might not of known Cory personally but the way he played Finn (yes I understand it was his character) makes me feel that Cory was exactly like him. Cory melted my hearts in so many ways that I will never forget. He might if died of an overdose but you know what he struggled for years and he actually went and got help. If you ever got involved with alcohol or drugs you would understand how hard it is to break the habit. He deserves my vote for a tribute in the Emmys and that’s what he got. Rest in Paradise Cory!

  17. Daniel says:

    Yes! And for you people saying he’s a druggie, shame on you!! Addiction is a serious disease. You obviously have never struggled with it personally or have someone you love going through it.. So you most definitely shouldn’t be judging.

  18. Kim says:

    Cory touched so many lives and was beloved by legions of fans. I am an adult female, mother of three, yet am still wrecked by his tragic death. He deserves to be remembered for his immense talent, not for the way he died. .I find your opinion piece to be in very poor taste. Shame on you!

  19. Madison says:

    Cory monteith was a great man he did what he did yes but Don’t think about how he died think about the life’s he changed and thinks he did yes ,he died of drugs and alcohol but it would diffrent if it was somebody you knew. he was a great man a deserves a award for the things he did I say give him that award R.I.P cory monteith you’ll be missed 1982-2013

  20. TRunner56 says:

    I see this as a battle of the younger vs. the older. I am familiar with Cory Monteith’s work and I understand Cory’s fan club wanting to see him honored; he was a fine actor and his choice to end his life with heroin/alcohol is sad. But I’m in my 60s and I am appalled — and absolutely will not watch the Emmys this year — at the choice to exclude Larry Hagman. Larry wasn’t just “another star”; he was a versatile and gifted actor who set high standards in and out of Hollywood. Look at IMDB and see the incredible array of roles he played, awards he won, and tributes from those who worked with him. Larry’s life choices & challenges are well documented, so I’m not nominating him for sainthood; but to disregard his contribution to the industry in favor of a boy that no one heard of 10 years ago is not fair and it’s not right. For that matter, Jack Klugman should have been honored too; he was also an actor whose long years of work deserved to be honored. Shame on you, ATAS, for this cheap ploy to bring in younger viewers. Either do away with the “In Memoriam” part of the Emmys or do away with a fixed limit and honor all those who have died in the past year and whose body of work deserves recognition.

    • Madison says:

      Cory monteith was a great man and deserves to be recognized for the things he did he was a great addition to the world and will be missed severely and it’s our job to keep his memorialization alive as fans, friends, family or GLEEKS he deserves that Emmy memorial god bless him remember him with smiles and laughter and his handsome smile and beautiful heart let him have that memorial R.I.P frankenteen you’ll be missed loved and so much more vote yes yes and YES!!

    • Madison says:

      Cory monteith was a great man and deserves to be recognized for the things he did he was a great addition to the world and will be missed severely and it’s our job to keep his memorialization alive as fans, friends, family or GLEEKS he deserves that Emmy memorial god bless him remember him with smiles and laughter and his handsome smile and beautiful heart let him have that memorial R.I.P cory monteith you’ll be missed loved and so much more 1982-2013 vote yes yes and YES!!

  21. Diana says:

    The suggestion that Cory Monteith not be included in the special tribute is not a sign of disrespect to his family, his fans or his memory. It simply is recognition that he did not have the depth or breadth of career as the other four so being honored. Monteith’s death was tragic and I have no doubt that his many fans deeply mourn him, but their grief should not be among the criteria for inclusion in a tribute beyond the In Memoriam reel. By any objective standard, Monteith did not have a career to merit this recognition.

  22. JR says:

    I cannot but question the timing and intent of this op/ed. It’s disappointing that you felt it necessary to cast shade on the merits of the in memoriam tribute for Cory Monteith but I’m sure you feel justified and gratified by all the attention and hate you’ve generated.
    Since you asked, here’s my opinion on why a special in memoriam for Cory is the right thing: According to Emmy’s website, in memoriams are for notable television figures who have passed away. Note it does not say “legendary (old), award winning” just notable–the definition of which is “worthy of attention or notice”. Which of course Cory is and continues to be. Cory created an indelible character that clearly resonates with millions. Moreover, Finn is a character that matters. Glee and Finn, as the show’s “everyman”, helped shed light on the struggle to, and the importance of, accepting teen gays. You are simply wrong that his work on Glee is not relevant and won’t be remembered in 20 years. It will because it helped change America’s attitudes toward LGBTs. And while Cory’s performance was often overlooked for some of the showier more theatrical performances, many critics now agree that his was a beautiful, honest portrayal–one of the few that didn’t evolve into caricature.
    Finally, Cory, his life, and his tragic death matter to many younger people and it is absolutely the right thing to include him in the tribute.

  23. Dolly says:

    Of course! Please everyone vote ‘yes’ it would mean so much to me, the Glee Cast, Lea, Cory (God Bless His Soul) and Gleeks all around the world:’)

    • Ray says:

      JR…”Notable” is correct, however, who is most notable? I do not think Cory is most notable in comparison to Larry Hagman or Jack Klugman.

    • mandy says:

      I totally agree with you, Cory should be remembered at the Emmys, he was an amazing actor, he reached out and touched my heart everytime I watched glee,as he did the rest of us glee fans, it is such a tragic loss my thoughts and prayers are with Lea and the Glee family I love you Cory, Finchel and Monchel forever, you will forever be in our hearts!!!!

      • Sharon Levy says:

        He was a druggy,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,not going to memorialize that,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,what kind of message would this send.

  24. fernanda aroca says:

    Yes, gleeks need this.

  25. Chris says:

    Are they “doing the right thing?” Oh for… What a smug article, get over yourself. I’m disappointed in you Variety for trying to stir up this sort of junk. Let this young man have his tribute if not for what you consider to be an insignificant body of work, then for the sake of his still-devastated family, friends and colleagues. Pathetic.

  26. Bill Hicks says:

    Gandolfini doesn’t belong. He had Sopranos and nothing else. He played the gangster type, nothing else. No range. No credits other than Sopranos.

    • Hooman says:

      You obviously don’t know how to use Google. Sopranos is just one of dozens of Gandolfini’s credits.

    • Sharon Levy says:

      Gandolfini was a great actor playing a part very well,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,IT WAS THE PART,,,,,,,,,,,,he did a fabulous job, Glee was barely known

      I disagree…………….whether you like him or not. His acting was outstanding

      • Beth Holler says:

        “Glee was barely known.” Ha, that’s funny. Try again. Actually, Glee is known in many countries around the world. So many people love the show and have learned many things from it. It’s true that viewership has gone down but that doesn’t mean people don’t know what Glee is. Just because you don’t know Glee, doesn’t mean other people don’t. As for the tributes, I am happy for everyone who is getting remembered at the Emmys.

      • Sharon Levy says:

        Well harrah, maybe to the kids………….of the world

  27. Lucy R says:

    He deserves a tribute, but not an Emmy tribute. Cory Monteith’s acting skills were not sufficient for him to earn such recognition in an awards show that basically celebrates superb acting. And superb acting equals James Gandolfini, Larry Hagman, Jean Stapleton and Jonathan Winters, NOT Cory Monteith. Glee jumped the sharked two years ago, and sadly, so did Cory.

  28. G says:

    He should be listed, but not provided any additional reverence. He was a mediocre actor on a highly popular show. I bet most of the people who are all for the special memorial didn’t even know his real name before he died. He was just that guy from Glee. Can you even name anything else he had done before? Was what he had done in someway amazing and standout? Did he provide any type of insight into the human condition through his acting, or was he just some guy who was in a few things and landed on a hit show.

    I’m not saying he wasn’t good in the role and I enjoyed his stint as Finn as anyone, especially during the episodes when Kurt was continually attempting to hit on him and how they handled that subject. I thought it was done well, if a little heavy-handed.

    But none of that was really anything earth shattering or worthy of extra attention now that he’s dead. People die every day and some have more of an impact on the world around them than others.

    Anyway, that’s my 2 cents.

    Always remember: Don’t Stop Bereavin’

  29. sharon levy says:

    NO HE SHOULDN’T BE ACKNOWLEDGED AT ALL,,,,,,,,,,,,,HE DRUGGED HIMSELF OUT, WHAT KIND OF A MESSAGE DOES IT SEND BY PAYING TRIBUTE,,,,,HOLLYWOOD POLITICS

    • Beth Holler says:

      You need to calm down and get over it. Is a short video about someone other people loved really going to negatively affect you? I think not. Cory did do drugs but Cory’s life is not defined by the drugs. People saw him for the kind, gracious person he was, not the issues he had. I don’t think this tribute is glorifying his drug use but rather remembering the loving person Cory was. You don’t have to like it and you don’t have to like Cory, but have some respect. Okay?

  30. KATE says:

    Yes, Cory Monteith does deserve to be singled out but all of this debate over the In Memoriam segment is only watering down the beauty of the moment. I have a great deal of respect for Larry Hagman and Jean Stapleton, as well as James Gandofini. One needs to keep in mind the staggering popularity of Glee and its fan base. Cory was an important part of the show from the very beginning until his tragic death. He was an actor, dedicated to his craft, on a popular show…just like the rest. Who cares if his “body of work” was not as extensive…he was only 31 when he died! It’s all relative.

  31. Mark Jerome says:

    Of course not. Glee is a terrible show.

  32. dianewms says:

    Cory Monteith should be mentioned in the In Memorium segment, of course, but a “tribute”? No. Larry Hagman deserves a tribute.

  33. P. says:

    Emmy producer Ehrlich said: “It was a rather personal choice, Cory’s appeal is to a different generation… At 31, he passed away under very different circumstances. It was important to be responsible to the younger viewers to whom Cory meant perhaps as much as these other individuals meant to their own generations.”

    So it’s because drugs? Way to attract the young audience. The tribute it’s not because his dubious talent, but because his death. Disgusting.

    You now are going to tell me that this is a way to raise awareness about bad addiction but please, media has sugarcoated Cory in these months. No one stopped and thought about writing an article about the dangers of drugs by using him as a “model” of awareness. Everyone preferred to keep quiet and “glorify” him since he entered rehab.
    That’s why his fans and gleeks now believe his problems were not serious and he was the perfect man, anyway. The teeny comment below mine speak loud.
    Blame media for this distorted reality.
    Emmys will not change nothing, at most he will become more hallowed than before.

  34. Ana says:

    Cory was an actor who touched millions and his death left a profound hole in the hearts of those people whom he touched through his craft. Of course he deserves this memoriial and to be recognized! Anyone, everyone who loved him deserves this memorial! This opinion piece is just that and the writer of course has a right to his opinion but I believe it is in such poor taste and a disgusting display of utter ignorance and disrespect for Cory’s grieving family, friends, and fans.

  35. Namoc says:

    No. He does not deserve this. He was a mediocre actor at best. He was also a mediocre actor at best, in a terrible show… At best.

    He was also a heroin addict acting as a role model for very small and impressionable children!

    • gunny says:

      I agree. It’s unfortunate that it has to be all about “the work”. Cory was a hero to millions of people because of his character and why it was so shocking that he died the way he did. Even good people can be addicts. I will miss the character of Finn for a very long time – well long after the names of the other people being acknowledged for their work.

    • Ana says:

      Cory does deserve this tribute. He was a role-model to not just young children but to people of all ages. And as far as his addiction, he’s been fighting it since he was a teen. Glee has shown that it’s okay to be different.

      • Charlie says:

        It’s not about his fight or his influence. It’s about his work… Can you back it up with his work as an actor?

  36. How in the world could just observing his loss for a few seconds damage the “high standards” of the industry? He had fans who were affected by his loss. I’m also offended by the Oscars when they don’t mention a deceased actor who entertained many people but whose life was rendered invisible by the Academy.

  37. Levi says:

    NO.
    I think he did not deserve the tribute segment. He was not the face/lead of the show nor a terrific actor like Gandolfini.
    I can understand why fans want to see a recognition for him because he was a sweet and generous person, involved in various charity actions.
    But Emmys is not about the good deeds, but to reward and recognize TALENTED people that have relegated an important imprint on television history.
    Gandolfini, Stapleton and the others had years and years of career on shoulders while the only great gig of Mr. Monteith was Glee that, frankly, is one of the most overrated tv show ever. Her tv career was at the beginning.
    I would rather to see Larry Hagman in his place. He was someone. He was an icon.
    Cory was an average young actor who played an average character in a bad teen show. Period.

    I’m sorry Mr. Monteith passed away because he was not able to defeat his own demons, but I would like a modicum of objectivity among the people behind the Emmys.

  38. Jason says:

    First off… Hire a new editor! The grammar, double words, and missing words made it painful to read.

    As for the subject, yes, the Emmy Awards celebrate what has been achieved by an actor, but to say that the academy is putting Monteith into the “elite” group is absurd! People are people. We are all the same! To omit someone who has passed from a Memorial moment just because he/she has not already achieved what you perceive as “tremendous career” is not only insensitive but also discriminatory.
    The Academy is not giving him an Emmy (posthumously). They are including his passing in a moment meant to celebrate the life (NOT the career) of those in the industry who have passed this past year. It shouldn’t (and doesn’t) matter how much one has accomplished or how famous one is at the time of passing… it is simply about remembering.

  39. sheryl says:

    I am wondering why the Emmy’s are honoring someone who had a drug problem to begin with. What is the message we are sending out. Should we honor someone who died of a drug overdose just because he was an actor? Really? Honor those that really did something. Larry Hagman, yes, he is iconic with TV shows like Dallas and I Dream of Jeanie. One year the entire nation was questioning “who shot JR”. Cory from Glee was a nice guy, but really, special tribute??!!!!!

    • Mikki Dee says:

      Those people who keep commenting that Cory was a drug addict and that Larry Hagman deserves this more are hypocrites. Larry Hagman also had an addiction – he was an alcoholic who damaged his liver severely from years of drinking. Because of this addiction to alcohol, he received a liver transplant taking a healthy liver away from someone who had liver disease or liver cancer, and he no doubt used his celebrity to buy that liver. Don’t make him out to be something he isn’t!

  40. Marta says:

    I think this is the most disrespectful article about Cory’s death since happened. Even more disrespectful than the ones that talk about the circustamnces of his death in a inappropriate way, and it says it all. I’m italian but I used Variety so much, right now I only feel disappointment.

  41. vanessa says:

    Everyone – copy your comments to the Emmy’s email link and let them know how you feel. I just copied mine. Cory will forever be in our hearts.
    http://www.emmys.com/contact

  42. Shona says:

    I actually cannot believe what I’ve just read. Whoever made those comments should be extremely ashamed of themselves.
    You think just because Cory didn’t have as many credits to his name as some other actors that he doesn’t deserve a memorial at the Emmys? It shouldn’t matter at all how many films he had mad or how many tv shows he had been on; the fact is Cory made a HUGE difference in his too short life. He was only 31 but had achieved so much.
    He has made a huge impact on the lives of so many people, especially the young adults and teenagers who watch Glee, myself being one of these people. He inspired people with his portrayal of Finn, teaching kids that its ok to be who they are, not to change for anyone, to chase after what you want, and that its ok to be unsure of what you want sometimes.
    Cory also changed lives when he was just being Cory. He worked with numerous charities such as Project Limelight and Chrysalis, to try and improve the lives of other people, some of whom may well have suffered with the same problems he did. He took the time out of his own very busy schedule to try and brighten the lives of others.
    If you look at where he was when he was a teenager and the vast journey he undertook to be where he was when he joined Glee, the difference is massive. He used to be a young boy, not sure where he was headed in life and he didn’t have the best environment around him, but someone believed in him, someone threw him a lifeline and he grabbed hold of it and he NEVER GAVE UP. Even when it seemed like so many things were against him, he persevered because he had found something he was passionate about and he had a better support system around him.
    Cory is the reason that I, a 19 year old who struggles with self confidence and the fear of the unknown and not being good enough, keep going today. He has taught me the importance of never giving up, believing in myself and staying true to myself, no matter what others may think or do. I know I am not the only one who Cory taught this to, there are thousands of other people just like me who would gladly talk to you for hours about the difference Cory made in their lives, and how they are who they are today because of him.
    Cory loved nothing more than to make people laugh and smile, to cheer them up and have a good time. He took his job very seriously and he loved to make movies and tv shows. If you asked any of his cast mates, they would tell you what an amazing guy he was, how he was like a brother to them, how natural he was as an actor and how comfortable he made them during scenes.
    He was 31. He had so much more to give, he WANTED to give more. He loved acting with everything he had. It shouldn’t matter how many projects he had taken part in, what should matter is the scale of the impact the ones he did do had. Whether you like Glee or not, you cannot deny the effect it has had on the millions of young people who go to high school every day as the underdogs, who once felt like they were invisible but now know that being an underdog isn’t a bad thing.
    Cory taught us all to never stop believing and that being a part of something special makes you special. He inspired me and I will never stop loving him. He deserves so much more than this, he made a bigger impact during his time with us than so many people realise. It angers me that anyone would think he doesn’t deserves an honour just because he doesn’t have hundreds of credits to his name.

  43. Nicole says:

    Writing an article about this is just down right disrespectful. Do producers and directors not deserve any recognition in memorandum because they weren’t as significant as the actors in the show? Absolutely not. This death was as unexpected as it was tragic and I’m embarrassed that you would even question the mourning of an important person to that show. A show which has been nominated for several Emmys at that. Disgusted.

  44. Marilyn - Washington DC says:

    Wow, you just successfully pissed me off. Glee has changed television – the way music is used in TV, the way the fans directly interact with social media, the way an ensemble carries a show. I don’t remember “Tony Soprano” performing in two sold out summer tours about his show to thousands of fans. When Glee was first made, nobody thought it could work for network tv. When you look at the pilot, Cory is part of that core of actors that made this show work. Cory continued to be a part of that core well into the end of its 4th season. Glee has won or been nominated for many Emmys. Emmy nominees/winners like Jane Lynch, Lea Michele, Matthew Morrison, Dot-Marie Jones – who do you think they did a lot of their scenes on the show with? Cory. Let us also remember that Cory did share in the SAG Ensemble acting award for Glee, so let’s not snub his acting.

    Each year the Emmys is produced a little bit differently. If the current producers think Cory is worthy of tribute, (especially in the past couple of months where we lost Cory, James Gandolfini and Jean Stapleton so close together), who are you to say they shouldn’t? Are you that much of an elitist snob – then have the Emmys be a private party that no one writes about. If you make it available to the viewers, you need to bring down the attitude, and show some respect for the deceased. If the viewers want to see a tribute to a late actor, a current lead on a current Emmy winning television show, and the producers want to do it, let them. Its a tribute, not an honorary Emmy. (You can ask the Academy to give one of those to Larry Hagman, if you feel he was snubbed).

    While you are at it sharing this sad commentary here – why not contact Ryan Murphy himself to share your opinion directly? You are a digital editor of a trade publication – you didn’t create Nip/Tuck, Glee and American Horror Story. You didn’t take many unknown actors and turn them into real stars. Ask Ryan Murphy if Cory is worthy of a tribute or not. Casting director Robert J. Ulrich, who helped discover Cory, has been quoted that Cory was one of the most “accessible actors on Glee”. I think for Robert to say that, when he sees scores of talent year in and out, carries substantial weight. Why not ask Robert if Cory deserves a tribute or if he isn’t worthy?

    Glee is a phenomenon – I don’t say that as a teeny bopper fan, but a women in her forties with a college degree in television production and programming. Cory’s career may have been cut short – but what he did do on Glee was medium changing, and he deserves recognition – if the Emmy ceremony wants to include him, respect their choice.

  45. Bonnie says:

    Wow. I can’t believe that this article was actually written. I also can’t believe some of the comments here.
    1) When you say “What Gandolfini did on “The Sopranos” inarguably transformed the medium of television; can we really say the same about Monteith on “Glee?”” I would argue, yes we can. Maybe you don’t see it, but I can tell you millions of kids around the world that struggled with the same kinds of things that “Finn” struggled with on Glee could see it. Just because you didn’t relate to his character or just because you are not in the generation that watches Glee, it doesn’t mean he didn’t do it. In my personal opinion, Glee has helped transform the medium of television more than any other television show out there – in a time when we really need it the most. Take a look around you. Look at the issues in the world. How many of them have to do with the issues that Glee addresses every week?

    2) Monteith’s struggles were no one’s fault. I wish people would educate themselves on addiction before they accuse people – including Monteith – of who was at fault. It’s a sickness.

    3) Regardless of your opinions, the fact of the matter is that The Academy DID see that Monteith’s achievements merited a special tribute in the Emmy’s. And whether he’s in that tribute or not, what does it matter to you? When did it become a question of “Who should we remember and who shouldn’t we remember?” Everyone who’s done something special in their lives should be remembered.

    What a terrible article to spark an even worse conversation.

  46. Kat says:

    I can’t believe Variety even published this. To say whether someone “deserved” a tribute is disrespectful, in my opinion. Then to say the Emmys are using a tribute to someone who gave back so tirelessly to society…just for ratings…that is really tacky. To all those people attacking Cory’s memory, just remember human beings make mistakes & are flawed. Attacking someone for being human must mean that you’re perfect & apparently God, because you can control everything & you make absolutely no mistakes.

  47. yyyass says:

    No, his body of work and accomplishments do not merit a special tribute segment alongside those other iconic performers. It’s that simple. But the issue is the self-absorption of people in today’s society. It’s about THEM. They “loved” him and are upset he killed himself, hence HE should get a special tribute because THEY are upset. That’s not what awards and awards shows are about. He was a cute guy that played one character on one ensemble show that plays well to a primarily younger audience. If Amanda Bynes had offed herself by this time, should SHE get a tribute. She arguably has a bigger body of work, headline roles, but people would be outraged. Monteith was cute and was in one hit show. That doesn’t cut it. Sorry.

  48. leo c smith says:

    Cory Monteith wanted to branch out , he would have been fantastic, except for one misstep in Vancouver, and I blame that on Ryan and Lea. why was no one there with him,, where was the support after rehab ,, read people ???,, Dr’s. say u need more support after rehab than before ..where was everyone who said they cared. Cory was a guy who cared about everyone, never had a bad thing said about him, was always ready to stop for a fan, wanted his charity “Project Limelight” in Vancouver to grow and flourish , he wanted it for the kid’s ,read things from Richard Branson about Cory and yes he was young but that’s why everyone loved him, why do u think his following has not diminished but grown and gleeks and fans ALL OVER THE WORLD STILL CARE. yes Larry Hagman was a big star but there was no outpouring of grief the way it has been for Cory Monteith just check twitter, facebook, instagram, tabloids, TIFF, he meant a lot to people and it would be foolish to ignore that.

    • Beth Holler says:

      Ryan and Lea were not Cory’s keeper and it’s absurd to blame them for anything related to his death. Just because they weren’t with him, doesn’t mean they didn’t care.

  49. Jae says:

    I am a 37-year-old woman, and I was so saddened to hear about Cory Monteith’s death. I am not entirely sure why. While I was a fan of Glee (more so in the first three seasons than in the most recent one), I never identified myself as a “Gleek.” However, after hearing news of his passing, I realized that the character of Finn, and Cory Monteith’s portrayal of him, was one of the reasons that I enjoyed the show so much. His talent may have been eclipsed by his showier co-stars and his own good looks and affable persona, but it was clear he was grateful for his success and dedicated to improving his craft. Furthermore, there hasn’t been a single person, from co-stars to fans, who has described him as less than a very kind and generous human being. It breaks my heart to think of what the last several months, that last night, must have been like for him, fighting an illness that he was trying so hard to overcome.

    Cory Monteith could have been my brother; he could be my son. (I get chills thinking of the prospect of my son going through such struggles). I feel his absence in the world, and I’m not entirely sure why. But I feel it is actively unkind for someone to question whether he – or anyone in his position – “deserves” a special memorial. He meant a lot to a lot of people. Calling into question any memorial in his honor denigrates not only him but the ones to whom such a tribute is important. I understand we all have to make a living, but surely you could have found inspiration for a column elsewhere. I know this was an easy one and a long time coming, since it was announced very early that an Emmy tribute was in the works. I imagine you may have had this percolating in the back of your mind ever since. To me, though, this isn’t a question of right or wrong, deserved or undeserved. I tell my children, “It’s nice to be right, but it’s best to be kind.” This was not a kind column.

    • Mikki Dee says:

      Well said! I am in my 40’s and I feel his absence as well. I can’t believe that anyone would be so disrespectful to a person who was so well loved. Thank you Emmy producers for giving Cory Monteith a special tribute, he deserves it!

  50. Stephanie says:

    Cory was very special to the world. Like lea said, we were very lucky to witness his incredible talent, his handsome smile, and his very beautiful heart. Cory was such a generous and humble human being. Did I know him personally? No. But watching him on glee and how he acted outside of glee with his fans and loved ones, made me feel like I really did. When he died, something inside of me did too. I was a huge fan and he was my idol. Just because other people fail to see the good in his life doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve to be remembered. They only focus on his death. But what about the other iconic stars that are still very well respected and remembered? Whitney Houston… Heath Ledger… Amy Winehouse… Now Cory… Come on. Really? They were all amazing and inspiring people. Don’t let the way they died be all they are remembered for. For all the good they’ve done, it’s not right to only remember them for their struggles. Where’s the fairness in that? Just let Cory have his damn tribute. I don’t understand why people are being so harsh about this. The fact that there’s even a poll to see if we should have one for him makes me sick. Lets just do the respectable thing here, okay? Please.

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