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Are Dogs Who Play Tough in Films Overlooked?
Martin Scorcese challenges the first-ever Golden Collar Awards

The people have spoken: Following a campaign led by Martin Scorsese, a Doberman named Blackie is in the running to be named “Best Dog in a Theatrical Film” at the first-ever Golden Collar Awards.

According to Dog News Daily, the sponsor of the awards, hundreds of Dobie devotees wrote to support Blackie after The Los Angeles Times published an op-ed by Scorsese. The Oscar-winning director wrote on Sunday that Blackie was unfairly overlooked by the nominating committee for her work in Hugo.

The director’s tongue-in-cheek piece suggested that Blackie was snubbed because of the Doberman’s imposing looks: “enormous and handsome,” as opposed to twice-nominated Uggie, a compact and cute Jack Russell Terrier. Scorsese also notes Blackie’s brave choice to portray an unlikable, mean guard dog, where Uggie played it safe as a lovable pet in Water for Elephants and The Artist. (We’re not sure why the conversation doesn’t include this year’s other breakout thespian, a Jack Russell named Arthur, who played Cosmo in Beginners.)

Blackie’s fans descended on Dog News’ Facebook page and, according to the site, posted more than 500 comments in less than 24 hours. Scorsese appeared on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live on Tuesday to speak out again for Blackie. By Wednesday, Blackie was officially on the list of nominations.

The Golden Collars ceremony will be held on Feb. 13 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in L.A., complete with a red carpet entrance. Organizers are hoping Blackie will attend—perhaps with Scorsese on the other end of the leash.

Kathleen St. John is a freelance writer for target The Denver Post and The Onion's A.V. Club, and a lifelong dog lover. She lives in Denver, Colo., with her husband, John, and her dog, Daisy, who's a mix of just about everything. avclub.com
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Submitted by NJ | February 3 2012 |

Super! I am a huge Dobie fan. We have had the honor of being owned by 2 of them, and I hope to have more. Yeah, they look tough, but you can't find more loyal, loving, goofy companion. Mine lives with 4 beagles. She is so patient with them. Actually, she considers herself an "honorary beagle".

Submitted by Sarahkate | February 6 2012 |

While I understand Mr. Scorsese is a formidably fantastic filmmaker at the top of his game I feel he erred in perpetuating the "aggressive Doberman" myth. Perhaps he could have used a crossbred or other dog not immediately recognizable as a Doberman. I'm not a filmmaker so I can't opine what exactly he should have done. But I feel strongly that because of breed specific legislation, anything widely disseminated that is negative to any of the so-called "known vicious breeds" needs to be addressed promptly and widely if not squelched completely. It is bad enough to see legislation and insurance companies consulting "the list" when deciding which dogs shall live or not or who gets to buy one of their homeowners or other liability policies. I realize his promotion for nomination for the award was "tongue in cheek" but remember human actors get typecast so firmly that it is difficult for them to transcend their labels earned by too many bad-guy roles. Doberman breeders have worked for literally decades to dispel the aggression myth (not to mention the "exploding brain" myth). History: just when WWII ended and the Nazis were no longer using these dogs as concentration camp guards, and things were settling down and people were discovering these actually were very nice dogs, along came a shocker of a short story published in The Saturday Evening Post (mid 1950's) which got the whole thing started again.

I am not a breeder nor do I particularly care about this breed, my deal is Jack Russells which have to deal with their own bad dog image. I do care passionately about unfair labeling whether dogs OR humans. Mr. Scorsese - you didn't do the breed any favors, sir.

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