According to a recent press statement, Entertainment Tonight and The Insider have removed a video clip showing alleged footage of the late Heath Ledger under the influence of alcohol. The removal came after statements issued by the IDPR Public Relations agency put pressure on Entertainment to withdraw the clip on claims the show was trying to stir up controversy in the wake of Ledger’s death.

heath ledger

In an unprecedented move, IDPR publicly issued email addresses and phone numbers of ET and Paramount executives in an attempt to strong arm the news agency and keep the clips off air.

In all, the whole chain of events seems a bit ugly. It’s entirely probable that ET purchased the video in order to capitalize on hype generated by Heath Ledger’s untimely death. The temptation to pick up such a juicy and salacious bit of pop junk news must have been far too overwhelming to resist.

This is, after all, what the industry does — make a profit by wrecking the lives of anyone famous enough for it to draw an interest. All a guy or gal has to do to look at the level of popular content coming out is surf by TMZ or pick up a tabloid. So is it really the fault of the industry that people enjoy reading news that exploits the tragedies of the rich and famous?

It’s an honest question. Are we all really this petty? Or have we just all been sold on the idea that it’s cool to take part in the debasement of our fellow human beings? Are we blind automatons of our media and entertainment masters, left open to the whims of anyone with a buck, an ad campaign, or the next bit of righteous dirt?

In this age, nothing is sacred, the less so the closer to the spotlight you step. We’ve become hooked on digging up the stinky underwear of the famous. The casualties are our role models, and any hope of living a life less cynical. Perhaps it’s just a sign of the age we live in. Some are calling it the new gilded age. The only thing that really matters — money. Greed? Well, my friends, that’s a fine virtue.

I don’t know. I just don’t know anymore.

What I do know is that I agree with IDPR’s statements. So maybe the industry should accept some of the blame and maybe IDPR was right to turn up the heat on people profiteering on others pain at a time when once, just once, solemnity was probably the better choice.

But taking a step back, you have to wonder who is IDPR anyway? Another faceless corporation steered by some sense of compassion, or moral justice, or even affection and sympathy for Heath Ledger? Nope. They’re just goons on the payroll of Heath’s family. Wouldn’t it have been better if the family had issued the statement personally rather than a faceless PR firm? Wouldn’t it have just been more human? More appropriate to the whole ridiculous situation?

Probably.

But then again, maybe ET wouldn’t have listened to the family. Maybe it took one big, bad corporation to make another sit up and pay attention.

For my part, I think Heath and family are still the victims. Even though the video didn’t air, it may as well have. Everyone now knows about it. And the holy profit? Well, ET missed out this time. But I’m sure IDPR raked in a pretty penny for their ‘services.’

In some cases there just needs to be a little, just a little, respect for human dignity. Or as the song goes — “haven’t you people ever heard of closing the ….. door.” Best wishes to all and my warmest condolences to Heath and family. Unfortunately, I don’t hold out much hope we or they will be spared of further drama.

ET Pulls Heath Ledger Video

Entertainment Tonight paid top dollar for a video of Heath Ledger at a party that took place two years ago at the Chateau Maramount. They had planned to air the video during Thursday evening’s episode. The video never aired.

Did ET go to far? According to Ledger’s PR firm ID they did. ID successfully managed to make sure that the video was never shown.

Ironically, there was nothing about the video that showed Heath Ledger actually doing any drugs. In fact according to the Huffington Post, the video shows Heat stating that he “used to smoke five joints a day.”

How far down did ET have to reach for that video. It’s Hollywood after all. Don’t you think the vast majority of actors and actresses in Hollywood have been at a party where there have been drugs. In fact don’t you think the vast majority of college students have been at parties where drugs have been used?

This may be a simplistic view of the situation, but come on, to dig up footage from something that happened two years ago at a party and call it journalism is an insult to the entire industry. Not to mention it is grasping at straws and damaging the reputation of an actor whose autopsy report has not even come out.

When I think of Heath Ledger I immediately think of one of his earlier films, “Ten Things I Hate About You.” Yeah it’s not “Brokeback Mountain,” and had a rather young target audience, but he was so pure, so young, so real. You just wanted to fall in love with him and his character. he was not a classic beauty, yet there was something so beautiful about him.

Entertainment Tonight’s failed attempt to stir up more controversy around his death was a failed attempt to sully the legend of one of the great actors of our time.

Would people want to see the video? Do people slow down there cars when there is an accident? It is only natural to be drawn to the sensational. It is human nature. That being said it is the press and the medias responsibility to respect the late actor and his family in this time of grieving. There are so many out there including his family and young daughter who are grieving the loss of someone they love to tarnish his reputation is not only disrespectful to him, but disrespectful to all of those who are mourning him right now.

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