Philip Seymour Hoffman died of an apparent heroin overdose, reportedly found with a needle sticking out of his arm, bags of heroine scatted about. Heath Ledger died of a drug overdose and Hollywood wept.
People could not line up fast enough to relish accolades after Hoffman’s death, proclaiming his demon of drug addiction led to a tragic, early death in an unbelievable career.
Days after Hoffman’s death, news reports surfaced about how police raided a drug house where it was suspected Hoffman obtained the illegal drugs. Why is it that we don’t hear of the police scouring about when some no-name dies of heroin overdose?
The media proclaim Hoffman’s death brought the heroin “epidemic” to the public light. Actually, that light has been burning for years.
So, what is the real difference between Hoffman and some of the thousands of low life dying in dirty skid row houses every year?
Hoffman had talent! He did not grab headlines stealing to buy his drugs. He was not one of the unwashed pieces of crap committing crimes to support a dirty little secret. No, Hoffman was one of the Hollywood elite. He simply went down to an ATM, withdrew thousands of dollars from a reported net worth of $35 million dollars and bought off the streets. If Hoffman had robbed a liquor store, it would have been so much easier not to proclaim sainthood. He was one of those public figures that could make headlines by going into countless rehabs.
Hoffman’s many movie friends came out of the woodwork to say what a tragedy the whole thing was. Where were they when he really needed a kick in the ass and real friend support? Is it only a tragedy when someone famous dies of a drug-induced lifestyle?
The media and friends are quick to proclaim the drug addiction as a disease, but is that the right course? After all, Hoffman knew injecting the drugs may lead to death. He had three children to think of and a woman who loved him, but that was not enough to stop the merry-go-round.
Don’t get me wrong, Hoffman was a great talent and I watched almost every film he was in, even the bad ones. He had a talent, but so did the guy whose name we never heard, it was just not the talent we pay millions for.
In the end, Hoffman was a drug addict, no better, no worse than the no-name who died the night before. There will be no elegant eulogies from the elite, no documentaries for the other guy. When the award shows run the next “those we have lost over the past year”, the crowd will moan when Hoffman’s picture and name appear on the big screen. He had a talent, far above all the other no-talents that also died this past year from a drug overdose. Money and fame seem to gloss over the dirty.
What about the movies Hoffman still had to be released? Well, Hollywood has CGI (computer graphics) that can make him come alive, be remembered for his contributions, sell more tickets.
What about the other people, the ones that don’t rate the same sympathy as a movie star? This column is for you, for all the talents and love you could have contributed in a world gone mad.