Oscar red carpet off limits for "Artist" dog Uggie
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Uggie, the canine star of "The Artist", won't be taking part in the Oscars or appearing on the red carpet next week, despite having won the hearts of millions of moviegoers.
"Uggie has not been asked to participate or appear at the Oscars," a spokesperson for The Weinstein Company, distributors of "The Artist", told Reuters on Tuesday.
Without an official invitation or credential, the playful Jack Russell terrier, 10, will not be able to romp with other stars on the Oscar red carpet as the silent film front-runner vies for the movie industry's highest honors.
And contrary to some press reports, Uggie has not been rehearsing an Oscar skit with host Billy Crystal, sources close to the ceremony said.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organizes the annual Oscars, did not return a request for comment.
But Uggie has at least one trophy in his own right to add to his own Facebook page and Twitter account.
On Monday night, the cute sidekick fought off a stiff challenge from Blackie the Doberman -- the star of director Martin Scorsese's family film "Hugo" -- to win the inaugural Golden Collar Award for best dog in a theatrical film.
Uggie turned up with a resume of tricks and a red bow tie at a ceremony in Los Angeles to accept the honor, bestowed by the online magazine Dog News Daily.
"People don't realize how many hours we put into training these dogs into becoming movie stars, so I'm very happy that this is happening," Uggie's trainer, Omar von Muller, told Reuters at the red carpet ceremony.
Scorsese, who had fought a successful campaign to get Blackie's name added as a late entry to the Golden Collar ballot, was graceful in defeat.
"I realize Blackie has a lot going against her, especially when you play the anti-hero," Scorsese said, with just a small whimper, in a video message for the Golden Collar Awards.
It was not immediately known if Blackie had also been snubbed with a non-invite to the Oscars.
(Reporting By Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)