Emmy Awards' Cory Monteith Tribute Is Brutally Honest About His Death

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Emmy Awards Cory Monteith tributeThe Emmy Awards tribute to Cory Monteith had created a surprising amount of controversy before the awards show even aired. Some, like Jack Klugman's son Adam, accused the ceremony's producers of glorifying someone who died at his own hands. And then, Jane Lynch got up onstage and told it like it is: her Glee co-star wasn't perfect. He was a drug addict who died because of his addiction.

It wasn't your typical tribute. Memorials tends to speak in glowing terms of the deceased.

But in telling the truth about how Cory Monteith died, Lynch did something better.

She made the tribute to Cory mean something more to the world than just a chance to remember a good actor.

As Lynch said:

Cory was a beautiful soul. He was not perfect, which many of us here tonight can relate to. His death is a tragic reminder of the rapacious, senseless destruction that is brought on by addiction.

Tonight we remember Cory for all he was and mourn the loss of all he could have been.

And there it is, folks: why mourning Cory Monteith in front of a world's audience made sense.

Klugman's son had accused the ceremony's producers of playing to a "youth-centric culture that has an extremely short attention span and panders to only a very narrow demographic."

Lynch's tribute to her Glee co-star was the very opposite. It was a warning to the youth of America, an arrow straight to their hearts: life is short; don't screw around.

Monteith's death wasn't part of the natural course of things. He wasn't an elderly man who'd contributed decades of work to the entertainment industry, only to die peacefully of something related to his age. Is he someone today's youth can relate to better than someone who hasn't graced a television screen in years? Perhaps, but that's all the more reason why the Emmy's tribute worked. There was a stark difference between the tribute to Monteith and those to Jonathan Winters and Jean Stapleton that preceded it.

Winters and Stapleton had done much, gotten far.

They were old.

And their tributes were uncomplicated by talk of "imperfection" and "addiction."

Cory Monteith died before he got to do most of what he could have done. His youth, his superstardom, was not enough to save him.

And to cement just what it was we lost, Lynch offered a reminder that there was more to Monteith than just the drugs:

All that warmth and that charm, that open-hearted quality that we loved in Cory was no act. This gifted and wonderful young man was worthy of your love.

If you were lucky enough to know Cory as we did and witness firsthand Cory's goofy, breezy sense of humor, his natural instinct for inclusiveness and his unbridled sense of generosity day in and day out, I promise, you'd have loved him even more.

What did you think of the tribute to Cory? Was it appropriate?


Image via Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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D.j. Lord

They were old..was when I had to stop reading this.....how many young people do you really think are watching this...you do know the nfl is playing?...it was a plea for ratings and what adam said it was but if you wanna try to make it more and use ageism to do it..then feel free

MamaT... MamaTo2b2g

Oh yes. They were old. So their loss is no big deal. Stupid jackass.

nonmember avatar Ria

I have never watched the Emmys since aside from the news I don't watch anything else on TV nowadays but I think it is tragic to single out this guy instead of Jack Klugman who won several Emmys just because he is old and "non-relatable".

Kate Cooley

So some dink from an annoying television show that rehashes popular hits through an "Up with People" filter is more deserving of tribute space at the Emmys than several people who actually EARNED Emmys? Shenanigans, I say. They're only giving Monteith any air to snag ratings, not because he deserves it with his body of work.

truth... truthrowan

They were old, as in, they had achieved more, they accomplished so much, they had lived full and promising lives, so their loss was less tragic because it was not colored by the sense of "what if" it was not tainted by potential unfulfilled. 

Love how easily you all not only look past the intention and meaning of the words, but degrade young people. Honoring Montieth was a wonderful choice, as it highlighted what drugs can do to even young famous and talented people, even the ones without the history of wild partying or public disorderliness. It served as a lesson. Nice to see everyone who wants to dismiss so eager to ignore that. 

nonmember avatar SickOfHearingIt

The four other memorials celebrated the long illustrious careers of people that earned several Emmys apiece. Cory Monteith did one TV show and if he hadn't died tragically, five years from now people would be saying "whatever happened to that Cory Monteith dude?" That does not deserve a tribute on a par with other four. They were supposed to be tributes for the long careers of beloved entertainers, not an anti-drugs PSA for the young uns. Charles Durning died this year. He was a war hero who survived D-Day.

Chana... Chanandler.Bong

After Monteith's death, within a month or two, there were two other public figures for the "young crowd" that killed themselves, Gia Allemand, and Lee Thompson Young, from the Jett Jackson show. We've also sat back and watched another  "fallen" disney star glorify drug use at the VMAs. Who cares if it's what the Emmys are supposed to be about, or have been in the past? The message that young people need to live responsibly is one that is sorely missing from our society's collective dialogue. And it's one that shouldn't end with the Emmys either, but it's a good start.

nonmember avatar paul

Though "somber" by hollywood standards, it's mention during the glitz and glamor of the Emmys means it is still glorifying a culture of death and destruction. Perhaps in an even more insidious and subconscious way.

Kate Cooley

paul: a good point. He won't be the last young face to self-destruct their way into the Emmys.

nonmember avatar nymom

If Cory's tribute made even one young person stop and think about their reckless actions or get help for a substance abuse problem, then it was well worth it. I don't think the other 3 deserved special tribute any more than others who passed including Jack Klugman, Harry Hagman, etc. But talking about Cory can actually make a difference in young lives and that is more important than satisying the families of the deceased.

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