Larry Hagman’s Son Criticizes Emmys In Memoriam Segment: ‘Do It Correctly’

by | September 23, 2013 at 6:36 PM | Celebrities, Emmys 2013

Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing in Dallas (Mark Seliger/TNT)


BY ALLISON TAKEDA

Sunday’s 65th Annual Primetime Emmys brought some unexpected wins (Jeff Daniels) and losses (Bryan Cranston), but to some people, the biggest snub of all wasn’t even an award — it was the In Memoriam segment. Unlike past Emmys broadcasts, which have traditionally featured one long In Memoriam photo reel honoring everyone who passed away in the year leading up to the show, the 2013 Emmys singled out five stars to be memorialized by close friends or colleagues.

Host Neil Patrick Harris said the idea was to keep the segment from becoming a “competition” for applause, but that idea seems to have backfired.

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Preston Hagman — whose dad, Dallas star Larry Hagman, died from complications of cancer at age 81 in November — spoke to Entertainment Tonight about the controversial tributes. Larry Hagman was not selected to receive an individual eulogy; he and other beloved stars including Annette Funicello, Roger Ebert, Dennis Farina, Jeanne Cooper, and Bonnie Franklin were grouped together in a traditional photo montage.

“I think three seconds was short,” the younger Hagman said, referring to the amount of time his father’s picture was shown onscreen. “I think all of them were short. If you are going to honor [the In Memoriam recipients], honor them with the respect and dignity that they portrayed. Do it for everyone.”

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He continued: “These are very talented people. The actors that they’re honoring have done so much for the industry…If you’re going to respect and recognize them, then do it correctly.”

Hagman clarified that he wasn’t mad about the tributes — just disappointed in them. “How I felt last night watching [the Emmys] was not anger, it was disappointment. Again, I think my dad was a trailblazer in the industry to set the stage for other actors,” he explained. “So it’s not anger, it’s definitely disappointment for what he contributed to the profession.”

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Incidentally, Hagman wasn’t the only mourning family member who had a problem with the way the In Memoriam tributes were handled. Adam Klugman, the son of The Odd Couple star Jack Klugman, also voiced his displeasure with the show, telling the Associated Press that he thought it was “criminal” that his father was relegated to the generic In Memoriam reel — especially considering the amount of time Glee’s Cory Monteith was given.

“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,” he complained. “What about the people who should be introduced to somebody like my father? I don’t mean to say anything disparaging about Cory, but he was a kid who had won no Emmys, and it was a self-induced tragedy.”

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