With all the positives that can exist in the world of social media, with it comes a venue that allows tiny, cowardly individuals to hide behind a veil of anonymity and project their imaginary toughness. It’s been seen when they degrade an actress in a beloved Sci-Fi franchise. It’s been witnessed when they use the image of a teenage actress on a streaming network’s popular series to create homophobic memes. It’s been presented through racist attacks on an actress for promoting her upcoming film.
And now, it’s being used to blame a grieving woman for the suicide of her partner.
Thursday, an open letter signed by over 40 celebrities was published in the Los Angeles Times, calling for the public to stop blaming actress/director Asia Argento for the suicide of her significant other, celebrity chef and CNN Parts Unknown host Anthony Bourdain. Aside from actor Terry Crews, the names on the letter were of Hollywood’s female talent, including Olivia Munn, Mira Sorvino, Natasha Henstridge and Fox reporter Lauren Sivan. The letter read the following:
“We are here to ask those who are angry and grieving the loss of Anthony to find a healthy outlet for their pain. Asia is a survivor, just as we are, and her fame and outward show of strength does not make her any less vulnerable. Asia is not a headline — she is a human being, and she is in horrific pain. Our request for Asia is a request for any and all survivors. Our standing up for her is standing up to any and all bullies. We implore you to be kind to each other, to believe survivors, to stand up for survivors, to encourage, support and sympathize with them. We ask you to stand with us, as we stand with Asia.”
It’s sad to see what steps some in our society will take to make themselves appear as a standout or star in the social media realm. They wholeheartedly cherish a film franchise and when they feel it takes a turn they do not agree with, they turn to their phones and computers. They don’t just vent about it, which would be absolutely fine. Instead, they demand it no longer exist, then locate the talent involved and berate, demean and attack them. They do so because they believe said franchise belongs to them and they won’t dare allow it to be “mishandled”. It’s the closest they ever feel to being powerful and in control.
But suicide? To blame someone, a person mourning the passing of someone they deeply cared for? To state that she is using her loved one’s passing as a way to promote herself when there is no evidence to support said claim is simply shameful. Argento was already a well known actress and director in both the US and worldwide. To suggest she has become famous off the death of her partner is pure ignorance and stupidity.
Suicide is a devastating act that leaves scars on those left to deal with the aftermath. This writer has had to live with multiples of those scars throughout his life. The old trend of sweeping it under the rug needs to stop and we as a society need to open up and discuss mental health and suicide with each other. We need more love and partnership in this area and less of the berating and hatred. Too many friends and family are being lost under the old method. A change needs to happen.
As for the trolls, please ease up on the hate. No one is saying you can’t vent about not liking an aspect of a film’s story or a character’s development. Constructive criticism or even just criticism is welcome. However, to push it to an extreme and personally attack the talent is asinine. It doesn’t make you a tough defender of your precious franchise. It makes you a vile, toxic, cowardly crybaby.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (available 24 hours everyday).
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