Thursday, March 11, 2010
Nice, But A Little Too Late
Last night Nicole Eggert and Corey Feldman were on Larry King Live to talk about the death of their friend Corey Haim. When asked how they felt about how years of Internet mocking were turned around into times of reflection and nostalgia over the actor upon his death, Eggert made the comment that it is nice, but a little too late. Of course I am sad to hear of Haim's death because it's unfortunate when people die young, although, let's be fair, as far as Hollywood tragedy's go, this one ranks fairly low. I understand that Feldman is trying to call the media out on their hypocrisy in turning years of mockery into loving tribute over the man's death, but really, even if the media was nice to him over those past years, so what? I find things like TMZ as shallow and useless as the next guy but King's response to Feldman hit the nail on the head: what did you want them to do? It's not surprising that he doesn't really have an answer. Don't celebrities sign some sort of unspoken contract when they get into the business? Is any celebrity so detached from reality that they don't know the pitfalls of living a life of excess and indulgence before getting into the game? Drugs, alcohol and promiscuity have always been documented as a part of Hollywood life, even before the emergence of tabloids and cultural fixation on celebrity gossip. Avoiding these things is up to the willpower of the individual alone. Also, celebrities must know that, by becoming public figures, they give up some of their personal rights. Celebrity fascination has also never been something new. People live in awe of celebrities. They want to meet them and touch them and get as close to them as possible. That's reality. When people like Kristen Stewart go on record talking about how much they don't like their life anymore because they have no privacy, I wonder, well, why did you decide to take a leading role in a film based on a novel that has become a huge cultural phenomenon? What was she expecting? The media has always been ruthless when it comes to dissecting celebrities. Again, I don't condone gossip but it's an inescapable part of celebrity culture. Haim signed on for the life, why should his treatment have been any different? The other thing that bothers me is that, it's a known fact that celebrity does not last forever. Stars reach their expiration dates, especially ones like Haim who seem only recruited to fill a niche in the current market. The simple fact of the matter is, not many, if any, of Haim's films are timeless and, really, he wasn't that good of an actor to begin with. He was just a cute and likable teenager who grew into something no one really cared for anymore. Feldman also talks about how Hollywood likes to put people up on a pedestal and then walk away from them when they aren't popular anymore. I don't mean to sound insensitive but in reality Hollywood is a business and businesses are all dollars and cents. You don't promote the guy who has the lowest productivity in the workforce, so why keep a star in the spotlight who's not turning a profit anymore? That's why Corey Haim disappeared from the spotlight, plain and simple. I imagine, as a human being that must be hard to deal with, but it's not a new trend and no actor, no matter how good, is exempt from the risk of it happening to them. In a perfect world, Feldman's wish would come true and the media would be kind and sensitive to Hollywood's fallen stars. But again, Haim wasn't an outstanding actor, his movies were cheesy and being mocked just goes along with the business; you sign up for it the moment you embrace success. Thus brings me back to Feldman's point about how the media was not there for Haim when he needed them. Where was Feldman? I don't want to go off making assumptions about something I know next to nothing about but, as a friend who also struggled with his own drug addictions, could Feldman not see the signs? Having battled with his own demons, did he not understand the possible damage that leaving an addict untreated could lead to? He says that during the past little while Haim had been in the best state of mind he'd been in for a long time. Why then, just weeks ago, was he given an offer to appear on Celebrity Rehab? Is the media cruel, vicious and heartless? Yes, it can be, but regardless of how they portrayed him over the years, the media didn't kill Corey Haim. Corey Haim did.