You'll never find a dog lover who doesn't think that their dog -- or more specifically -- their particular breed of canine -- is the top dog. But Martin Scorsese makes a very good point about his Hugo star, Blackie the Doberman, being totally shut out of the First Annual Golden Collar Awards.
Blackie's job as Sacha Baron Cohen's train station officer attack dog, was to terrify and chase people, particularly the child stars of the Oscar-nominated film -- based on a children's book that bears tribute to the birth of cinema via the life and career of George Melies.
But really, two nominations for Uggie, the Jack Russell star of Water for Elephants and another Oscar-nominated film, The Artist? Seriously? Scorsese sniffs dog discrimination, and he lays it out in the LA Times:
"OK, let's lay all our cards on the table. Jack Russell terriers are small and cute. Dobermans are enormous and — handsome. More tellingly, Uggie plays a nice little mascot who does tricks and saves his master's life in one of the films, while Blackie gives an uncompromising performance as a ferocious guard dog who terrorizes children. I'm sure you can see what I'm driving at.
"I'm proud of Blackie, who laid it on the line and dared to risk the sympathy of her audience," he continues. "Let's just say that on the set, she had a fitting nickname: Citizen Canine. The bath scene alone is a masterpiece of underplaying, with Blackie's wonderfully aquiline face accentuated by the 3-D."
He ends his opinion piece by encouraging readers to make their preference known to the editors of Dog News Daily by write-in ballot to give Blackie the nomination she deserves.
Dog News Daily editor Alan Siskind has replied, "Rather than engage in a war of words over the merits of the brilliant and nimble Jack Russell versus the imposing stature of a handsome Doberman, we will do what Mr. Scorsese so eloquently requests.
"If Blackie receives 500 write-in "NOMINATE HUGO'S BLACKIE" posts by Monday, February 6th, on Dog News Daily's Facebook page then the Golden Collar nominating committee will request that the panel of 14 judges add Hugo's Blackie as the 6th Nominee in the Best Dog in a Theatrical Film category."
Now, The Hollywood Reporter must reveal that this is all in good fun. No one is really dog gone mad. As Siskind admits in his email alerting us to the scandal, "It was a brilliant idea. Paramount and 42 West out Harveyed Harvey (Weinstein). I've already had emails from his team congratulating them on this stroke of genius. Unbelievable."
See? It really is a dog-eat-dog world during awards season.