I stumbled upon this video just a few days ago and had to share it. I LOVE what Ferguson has to say, not only about his own experience with alcoholism, but also about the media’s treatment of celebrities suffering addiction and mental health issues. Since this video (2007), there have been a number of celebrity drug & alcohol related deaths . Heath Ledger, Amy Winehouse, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Corey Montieth and Peaches Geldoff are a few names that spring to mind. Addiction kills and it is never a laughing matter.
Amy Winehouse was a complete joke before she died. There were “hilarious” videos of her drunk and high posted on You Tube and people were dressing up as her for Halloween. The media and society at large took advantage of a very sick individual and turned it into prime entertainment. How many jokes were made at her expense? Her addiction, the butt of all the jokes, finally killed her. A talented young woman died trying to get sober. How funny is that!!? How funny do you think her parents found it when they buried her?
Addiction is a taboo subject. It is a very misunderstood disease. The sufferer is generally blamed for their addiction and the behavior this addiction causes. As Ferguson exclaims in this video, he can TRY all he likes to drink normally, but he just CANNOT. He honestly isn’t capable.
Our society takes sick pleasure in judging celebrities for their every move, including those which are the result of serious and very obvious addiction and mental health issues. And I’m guilty of this too. Back when Amanda Byrnes had a complete meltdown I was constantly up to date with her shenanigans. Acting all judgy mcjudgy on my high horse, I was actually relieved to see that someone was more fucked up than I was. I took a great deal of pleasure at the expense of her pain as by comparison, it made me feel like maybe I wasn’t such a lost cause.
This video has reminded me of an important fact. Celebrities struggling with addiction and mental health issues, just like the rest of the population, deserve respect and compassion. They are sick individuals battling a deadly illness. And if the next celebrity we joke about happens to die, how funny will we find that?
What are your thoughts on the matter? Comment below and let me know.