Not knowing much about Heath Ledger's career or family, I'm largely untouched by his untimely death. Sure, like he was, I'm having problems with prescription drugs and depression, but to me that's really not enough to make a personal connection. What impacts me most about the whole thing is the effect this surely is having on Terry Gilliam; rumors are flying around of him contemplating using CG or "magic actor swaps" to desperately try and save his film from the fate he's experienced first-hand so many times before. Gilliam is no stranger to films falling apart due to circumstances beyond his control, and it's really unfair that this keeps happening to him. More difficult still, he was reportedly close friends with Heath, adding pressure to avoid looking like he's trying to "cash in" on Heath's death like so many others are. (CNN and FOX, I'm looking at you.)
Terry Gilliam is in a really difficult spot right now, because no matter what choices he makes, they're all going to come off as seeming disrespectful. That's a real shame, because I'm sure he's hurting at least as much as everyone else pretends they are, but he's actually got something to lose as a result in addition to his friendship.
If you've got any mojo left over after sending it out to Heath's family, I'd suggest sending a little Terry's way as well.
Let me get this straight... Don Imus refers to some young black women as "nappy-headed hos" and gets fired amidst the massive media attention, Kelly Tilghman gets a 2-week suspension for saying Tiger Woods's's opponents would have to "lynch him in a back alley" to beat him, yet John Gibson gets nothing?
Are things seriously so fudged up in this country that something only <i>vaguely</i> tied to racism (lynching) causes more outrage than cruel homophobic rumormongering towards a dead man and his family?
I'm not typically a celebrity woebegoner, but this atop the Westboro Baptist Church announcing that they're going to picket Heath's funeral has put me just about over the top on the "caring about the press treatment of celebrities" department. Seriously, LEAVE HEATH LEDGER ALONE! (SOB)