The (I was going to start with the cliche ‘tragic’ but isn’t every death tragic?) death of Corey Monteith last week started another slew of articles on an individual’s ‘Spiral into addiction’ and their ‘Mental health struggle.’ Although not a major follower of celebrity news, I found it ironic that the reporting of his death was the first that I had heard of his troubles with addiction. Why ironic? Because of the simple fact that in a celebrity obsessed culture we see everything that celebrities do, who they marry, where they eat, what shops they shop in, but it seems that, unless there is a carefully worded press release, it is a very rare occurrence to see a mainstream actor come out and talk about their mental health or struggles with alcohol or substances. There is something in this that lacks marketability for studios, that would go against the interests of the actor in the future, so it is swept to the side. Who knew that Heath Ledger was going through such a hard time (reports after his death indicate that many other celebrities knew of his struggle). My point in asking these questions is, if we know (and will pay for gossip magazines) everything about a celebrities life, then surely can’t we deal with the fact that they may have their own failings, that they might have things that they struggle with in their everyday lives. Because their work is seen on screen does this make them any less human than the person whose work is only seen by their supervisor in their office?
- Glee star Cory Monteith struggled with addiction before tragic death (globalnews.ca)
- “Glee” Actor Cory Monteith’s Death Recalls the Lives of Heath Ledger, Corey Haim and River Phoenix (justprayno.org)