• Thu, Oct 10 - 12:55 pm ET

The More The Glee Cast Talks About The Cory Monteith Tribute, The More I Think It’s A Mistake

Finn Glee Cory Monteith

Yesterday we expressed concern over the comment Lea Michele made about the Cory Monteith tribute episode that’s airing tonight. And thanks to Mike O’Malley’s interview on The Ellen Show, we’re expressing even more concern today. Mike O’Malley, the actor who played Finn’s stepfather on the show, spoke to Ellen DeGeneres about the episode in such a blase way that I’m starting to think that these actors really are blurring the line between a scripted show and their real lives. Finn died in the show, but Cory Monteith died in real life. To continue acting like this is just another “very special episode” comes off as condescending and insensitive.

Mike O’Malley kicks off the interview by combining his conversation about the episode with a mention of his new show, Welcome to the FamilyAnd by a mention, I mean that he says something along the lines of, “they’re playing on TV at the same time, so try to watch both at once.” While I know part of his job as an actor is to promote his show, it still comes off as incredibly crass to compare a comedy to an episode that’s dedicated to his dead co-worker. Yeah, I said co-worker. Cory played his stepson on the show, but he played a real live human during his every day life. A human being who interacted with fellow human being, Mike O’Malley.

To add insult to injury, Mike appears disinterested in discussing Cory throughout the entire interview — making it all too clear that he’s required to talk about him as well as the tribute episode. Maybe they weren’t friends in real life, maybe they didn’t even like each other, maybe they liked each other a lot and Mike finds it hard to talk about him. But the fact that he talks about him the way that he does here only furthers my feelings that the show’s exploiting his death. Everyone should be allowed to mourn in their own way and I don’t think that’s what’s happening here. If anything, this tribute and this cast talking about in the way that they are cheapens his death. While I have no idea how I would handle the situation if I was in Ryan Murphy’s place, this way just doesn’t seem right.

(Photo: WhatTalking)

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  • Sandra

    I’m really in two minds about this episode. On one hand I feel that it’s needed so fans can have closure of the character Finn Hudson and use it to say their ‘goodbyes’ to Cory Monteith. On the other, it feels like the cast have started to talk about him like a commodity as opposed to a friend/co-star… Cory Monteith, ‘The Glee Product’.

    • Jenni

      Exactly! I understand the dilemma of having to wrap up his character’s story. But I feel like they’re all forgetting that he was real and that he died tragically.

  • gayle

    I just wanted to add the director, in another article, saying they basically exploited the actors grieving,”My job as a director was to keep everyone in that grief because I
    didn’t want anything fake in the episode, and I didn’t want anyone to
    pretend they were sad,” he added. “I wanted them to be sad about what
    they were sad about and to stay in that for the two weeks it took to
    shoot that — and to keep pulling everyone back and to take care of them
    when they went there — was a lot. I had a hard time. I’m more proud of
    it than anything I’ve ever done. It’s for Cory.” I think all of this has confirmed my decision to not watch this episode

    • alex

      That’s disgusting. It seems like Glee can’t get anything right anymore.

  • Ria

    I’m in total agreement with you here. It seems inappropriate and, for lack of a better word, awkward. When John Ritter died, 8 Simple Rules wrote it into the script and they went through a whole funeral for his character, the family mourning his death etc. but I stopped watching after he passed away because he was such a big part of the show.

    Katy Sagal played his wife on the show and when she was in Married w/Children they wrote her first pregnancy into the script…she ended having a stillborn daughter so the show continued on where her pregnancy had been a whole “dream”. Her subsequent pregnancies weren’t written in but, she dealt with her loss personally, as she should have.

    Phil Hartman was murdered by his wife when News Radio was really popular and I think they had his character die too but I could be wrong.

    Although I don’t watch Glee, we KNOW when someone has died in real life! Therefore, that fictional t.v. character isn’t going to be on the next episode. It seems patronizing in a way. Maybe it’s a marketing ploy to take away from the fact that he died from drug addiction and giving it a more innocent ending?

    Mike O’Malley may be indifferent toward Cory Monteith. He’s been in the business a long time and has probably seen many come and go. He’s doing his job and maybe didn’t feel it should be forced upon him to gush about one of the many actors he’s worked with over the years. I’d personally rather hear about his new show, I’ve never even watched Glee. Yes, Dear was one of my favorite shows and I never understood why it didn’t get as popular as it should have!

    Sorry for the extremely long comment! I think I’ve maxed out my commenting quota for the day:)

    • Jenni

      I think the best decision would’ve been to have an hour-long special of the cast talking about Cory (not Finn) and what he meant to them and the show. That gives the show’s fan some kind of closure without all this weirdness.

    • The Redhead

      I totally agree with you, that would have been appropriate This whole thing has become a bit much.
      Also, It seems like everyone involved in the show wants to have their “Me” moment where they want to go on and on about how his death has affected THEM. It feels wrong.

  • alex

    Wow. “it’s a big night for me on television” is his response to Ellen’s comment? I liked this guy all along but I think I’m done after that.

    • Jenni

      It’s such a weird response/tone for this interview.

    • MCR

      I wonder if he hated the way this was all being handled, and the “big night” was muted sarcasm.

  • Pam

    He may just seem indifferent at this point because he has talked about it a lot. They were co-workers and it was absolutely horrible, but they may not have been super close. I had a co-worker die a few years ago, it was of course really sad and I felt horrible for his family, but after a few weeks it wasn’t still raw and I had to do my job just the same.
    You never know maybe Mike O’Malley agrees that this tribute episode is a little exploitative of the casts real emotions so he isn’t all that pleased to have to plug it. Its hard to say. I do think killing the character is right so that they will not have bring up hard emotions for the actors by talking about a character that was embodied by their dead friend. Its the best way to go about it, it will also give the fans the ability to morn the character because in reality that was who they loved and knew more than the real person, even though it is obviously so much more hideously sad to lose a real person.

    • Ria

      Exactly Pam! Thank you for putting my thoughts into words…and I’ve never even seen the show Glee. Mike was most likely coming on Ellen with the forethought that he was promoting his new show. It’s kind of like when people interview Laura Prepon and pretend to care about her when all they really want to know about is Mila and Ashton’s relationship. Mike stood his ground and good for him! Why should someone who’s put so many years into his career bow down to a drug addict who played ONE character!

  • Jodi Scaife

    It was a very intense, sad episode, and I didn’t get the feel that it was disrespectful to Cory in any way. They used the episode to help draw awareness to addiction problems, and the downloads will be donated to a charity that helps people recover from serious addictions.

    • Alexis Rhiannon

      I’m glad you felt good about it. I haven’t seen it yet, and I don’t know if I want to.

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