The suits who run the Emmys had to make a hard choice in deciding which dead actor to honor-- a TV icon who has won multiple Emmys, or a young actor with no Emmys who is now as famous for being a drug addict as a TV star. They chose door number 2.
It's interesting. We've spoken with several people who have won Emmys who are upset with the decision to give a special honor to Cory Monteith but not Jack Klugman, and they're all too scared to speak out ... for fear of some sort of retaliation.
Jack Klugman -- who has won 3 Emmys and starred in TV classics -- "The Odd Couple" and "Quincy M.E." -- has been overlooked and disrespected for special mention during tonight's ceremony. Instead ... Cory Monteith gets the honor. Jack's son thinks it's ridiculous and disrespectful, and he's right.
The Emmys are honoring 5 TV types who died in the last year -- 4 of whom have earned their stripes ... Jonathan Winters, Jean Stapleton, James Gandolfini, Gary David Goldberg -- and then there's Cory.
BTW ... Larry Hagman was also overlooked.
One TV type who has won multiple Emmys but wanted to remain anonymous scoffed and told TMZ, "Awards are like hemorrhoids. Eventually every asshole gets one."