I know everyone was just as shocked and devastated (seems to be the word of the week) as I was to find out about Heath Ledger. I haven't been near a television all week and resorted, last-night, to surfing the web for info or updates of unfolding details about his death. And I have to say I am so disgusted at how the media has not only handled their coverage but with such insensitivity and blatant disregard for the feelings and grief of family members and close friends.
I found so many disgusting images on the web from this week. The most horrific comes from the smut-trash hub TMZ with their "Sad Day In Brooklyn" video (which I refuse to link), where you see, first, Keri Russell being harassed by a woman who corners her on the sidewalk barking "Come on Keri! OK Magazine! Give us a comment!" Followed by the most disturbing I've seen yet of a sobbing Mrs. Williams being escorted to the Bklyn residence with paparazzi stepping all over her, stating the entire time (with cameras flashing) "Sorry Mrs. Williams...sorry about this," as they snapped away. All the while an outraged Bklyn resident yelling from her window "LEAVE-HER-ALONE!!"
There's Lindsay Lohan, who upon learning of his death, is escorted out the back of an LA restaurant completely breaking down when a photographer screams right in her face "HEATH'S DEAD LINDSAY! WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THAT!?" This person has just found out someone they loved has died and your yelling at her? For what? A sound byte? A money shot? Disgusting.
Obviously Michele Williams returning home to a hoard of awaiting press, daughter clutched in her arms, is beyond disturbing. I couldn't even watch that one.
I was outraged to see that a boycott of Heath's funeral was being planned by the same ignorant-fuck "Minister" who we saw protesting Matthew Shepard's funeral years ago. Fox News' John Gibson joking about Heath's death on his radio show was the pinnacle of disgust for me this week, only made worst by his half-ass apology the network forced him to give after refusing to say he was sorry the day before. BEYOND disgusting.
I am happy to say though I did see a lot of beautiful reflections of Heath this week. Watching Daniel Day Lewis speak about him on Oprah brought a tear to my eye, as did John Travolta's heartfelt comments of the actor he so admired, calling him his "inspiration."
It all seems so crazy to me. I know we live in a media driven, celebrity obsessed, information kind of day and age- but someone has died. I don't know...it all just seems in such poor taste and I can't help but wonder if it's going to get worst before it gets better. With companies such as Best Buy and Netflix pouring advertising dollars in to sites like TMZ, I'm afraid no change will occur soon.
So, in lieu of letting the media shape my feelings this week about losing one of my favorite actors and exposing you to yet another negative image surrounding Heath's death, I'm going to share with you a playful interview I saw a couple years back from Ellen where a new father gushed proudly of his daughter and the excitement of being nominated for an Oscar. This is how I choose to remember Heath Ledger. Fuck that media circus.