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February 3, 2012

Dobermans Are People Too!

Scorsese's scorn earns Hugo's snubbed guard dog a nod for the Golden Collar Awards

Uggie is going to be facing some stiff competition after all.

Nominated for two Golden Collar Awards by Dog News Daily, the cute Jack Russell Terrier starred in both The Artist and Water for Elephants. Others nominated for Best Dog in a Theatrical Film included Arthur (who played Cosmo in Beginners), Denver (Skeletor in 50/50), and Hummer (Dolce in Young Adult).

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Conspicuously missing from the list was Blackie, who played the Doberman guard dog in Martin Scorsese's Hugo -- and that was one oversight that the veteran director would not tolerate. In a Wednesday op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, Scorsese, who noted that he was grateful for the movie's 11 Oscar nominations, said "we've been severely slighted" with Blackie's omission from the Golden Collar Awards. "How could she not be nominated?" Scorsese wondered.

"Jack Russell terriers are small and cute," Scorsese continued, praising Uggie's nominations. "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. We all have fond memories of Rin Tin Tin and Lassie, the big stars, the heroes, but what about the antiheroes? We have learned to accept the human antihero, but when it comes to dogs, I guess we still have a long way to go." Scorsese tongue-in-cheek accused the Dog News Daily folks of "prejudice" against Dobermans and Blackie.

Golden Collar Awards director Alan Siskind agreed to add Blackie to the list of nominees if he received more than 500 write-in votes on Facebook. Blackie reached that milestone in no time flat, and is now a sixth candidate for the award. Winners will be announced Feb. 13.

Justice served! Dobermans everywhere are reportedly quite pleased. So is Scorsese.

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But not everyone is happy. Antonio Banderas says there's another kind of prejudice going on with the Golden Collar Awards: Why is it all dogs? Where are the feline nominations?

Writing his own op-ed yesterday for the Huffington Post, Banderas, who voices the title character in Puss in Boots, notes that "cats wear collars too."

Banderas argues that Puss brought "wit, adventure, dance, and soul to the big screen" and that "his name should become legend. Yes, the dogs have done well this year, but dogs will do anything for a sausage treat, cats do everything out of love." He concludes that "cats have feelings too. Please overcome this anti-feline-ism, Hollywood, and give my dear friend the recognition he deserves. Don't make the cat angry!"

Here's the announcement for the Golden Collar Awards -- prior to Blackie's later addition:

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