Standing up for something you believe in isn’t always easy. Sometimes it is, and sometimes it has disastrous results because it’s insulting.
When it comes to standing up for something in regards to an award (accepting or declining), then it can become even trickier. You can accept an award if you feel you deserve it (or just because it’s hard to decline it), or you can decline the award because you don’t believe you deserve it.
Not believing you deserve the award can be seen in a couple of ways, depending on how you decline it.
You can decline being considered for a nomination like Katherine Hiegl did for Grey’s Anatomy. She said she wasn’t given material that she thought was worthy of consideration for an award. That’s not the greatest way to decline a nomination for an award. There are better ways.
One of the better ways is what Chip Zdarsky did when he declined his Harvey award: he said that it should have gone to the team of both him and writer Matt Fraction or that he should have had his name removed completely, while expressing his gratitude for the nomination itself. When he won, he declined it, because it was a collaboration and he wanted the writer to be included as well.
That’s a stand-up thing to do. That’s classy: turning down the award because another party also wasn’t recognized. Who can take offense to that? (Yes, this is America. When the Westboro Baptist Church can picket a military funeral basically because they can and they feel like it, you know that free speech is being protected. They could take offense to just about anything, and make the news in doing it.) Wanting for someone else to be recognized for the work they helped to produce for something that is receiving an award is always a good thing. Standing up for it can be a challenge, though. You have to really feel it deeply.
It takes a lot of strength of character to stand up for your convictions. Most of us don’t have that kind of intestinal fortitude. This is why it’s worthy of conversation when it happens.
Chip Zdarsky is strong.
How strong are you?