Long story short: A two-year-old video featuring Heath Ledger at a party where drugs were being consumed was purchased by Entertainment Tonight for a large sum of money (some are saying $200,000), and the show, as well as The Insider, planned to air the video in an attempt to "understand why Ledger died." Ledger's former PR firm sent out a mass email protesting the video, folks everywhere cried "poor taste" and ET ultimately decided not to air it. One imagines said video will arrive on YouTube within 24 hours, and at that time it will be everywhere; the secret video everyone will pretend they didn't watch.
Here's my question: Where do you draw the line? Almost everything these shows put on the air is in poor taste. So, instead of the Ledger video, they'll do 15 minutes on Britney Spears -- what she wore to the hospital, what she said to the doctor, how big her sh*t was that morning. This stuff -- this stalking of Britney Spears -- is okay. Airing a video showing Heath Ledger drinking a beer, while some dude snorts coke in the corner? Not okay. That's in poor taste. You should respect the Ledger family. What about the family of every other actor or actress who's caught doing something stupid? Where's the respect for them? There is no respect. You think the folks at ET respect Ledger or his family? They couldn't give two sh*ts about these people ... unless something they do is going to bring them more viewers. Hence, the video.
It's a pretty sick world we live in. I've watched this TMZ show on television, where the staff gets together and they write a bunch of stuff on a board. At the top of that board, it should read: How Will We Ruin Someone's Life Today? Isn't it sick to know that all of these people -- the shows, the websites, the magazines -- make all their money off humiliating other people? That that's a huge business; the business of humiliation. And then they go home at night to their wife, their significant other, their children -- and they attempt to be a good role model. " Help Jimmy with his math homework after you're done photo-shopping that pic of Britney's vagina, please."
If I were harassed as much as Britney Spears has been, I'd wind up in a mental institution. We all would. And if she does die, God forbid, it would be the media that killed her. And then how funny would it be to watch the media blame themselves for killing a celebrity? Of course they wouldn't do that -- they'd blame Britney, they'd blame her family, they'd blame her friends. They'd never blame themselves, unless they were blaming another outlet -- as if they were the good guys.
But you know who should really be blamed? Us. We're the ones with the desire to read and watch this sh*t. We feed them, and they prosper. I won't say we're the ones responsible for Ledger's death -- after all, a person has to take responsibility for what they put in their own body. But we're responsible for shows like Celebrity Rehab; we're responsible for Britney Spears going off the deep end; we're responsible for TMZ TV; we're responsible for Perez Hilton's ugly f**king face showing up on a VH1 special. We love it. We eat it up. And if you put that Heath Ledger video in front of 150 strangers, I bet at least 149 of them would watch it without thinking twice. Because it's mindless entertainment. And if it temporarily helps you forget about the fact that your life sucks, then bring it on.
We're the real addicts. And it's sad.