Al Pacino Wins Emmy Award for Movie on Euthanasia Advocate Jack Kevorkian

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 30, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Al Pacino Wins Emmy Award for Movie on Euthanasia Advocate Jack Kevorkian

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 30
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — In another example of the Hollywood elite glorifying those actors and films that promote anti-life values, Al Pacino won an Emmy Award for his portrayal of Jack Kevorkian in the HBO film, "You Don’t Know Jack."

Pacino portrayed the assisted suicide crusader who was eventually jailed for killing a disabled man in a televised euthanasia.

Kevorkian went to prison after killing Thomas Youk on a CBS-televised program and he was released in 2007 after spending eight years behind bars.

During his acceptance speech, Pacino praised Kevorkian, a retired pathologist credited with killing more than 100 people in assisted suicides before the state of Michigan made the practice illegal.

Pacino called Kevorkian "brilliant and interesting and unique" and the euthanasia advocate received a round of applause from the audience after he stood up to accept Pacino’s recognition.

"It’s really an honor to have had the pleasure to try to portray someone as brilliant and interesting and unique as Dr. Jack Kevorkian and the fun I had just trying to get inside his head, which, of course, I could never," Pacino said.

Pacino was clearly ready to lobby the audience and viewers in favor of his film and the man who pro-life advocates have soundly condemned.

“I haven’t even started yet, and already you’re laughing,” he said, knowing the audience knew he would ramble on with a long-winded speech.

Despite the accolades for Pacino and Kevorkian, a couple of Hollywood critic panned Pacino’s performance.

Hal Boedeker of the Orlando Sentinel newspaper said Al Pacino deserved the "worst speech" award. Pacino "just went on and on," he said, adding: "He deserved the statuette for playing Jack Kevorkian brilliantly, but golly, his thank-you was nowhere near as great as his Oscar acceptance speech."

Even Linda Holmes of the reliably liberal NPR had no love for Pacino’s acceptance speech.

"If there was a worst moment, it was probably the defiantly rambling acceptance speech from Al Pacino," she wrote.

"It’s hard to cut off Al Pacino, and he knows it, but taking advantage of that fact in a setting where he’s really just a visitor was one of the evening’s only acts of ungraciousness, since it inevitably takes away from other winners," she wrote. "Pacino filibustered for an astonishing three minutes (a lifetime in awards-show terms), including a full minute after noting that he was going to ignore the plea that he wrap it up."

And Alex Strachan of the National Post called Pacino’s acceptance of the award a "worst" moment of the night

You Don’t Know Jack writer Adam Mazer tried to spin the pro-euthanasia film’s award into a bit of humor, with the line, "Jack Kevorkian, I’m so grateful you’re my friend. But I’m even more grateful you’re not my physician."


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