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Is the Media to Blame for the Death of Amy Winehouse

Updated on August 4, 2011

A Talented Girl Who Sang About Real Life

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Rehab Is No Joke

I remember the first time I heard the song Rehab. The song was darkly entertaining to me, the fact that here was someone singing, and I mean SAAAANGING (that girl could definitely sing…) about not wanting to go to rehab. About being depressed. About nursing that depression and loneliness with alcohol. Yeah, the song was pretty dark. Pretty entertaining.

Then it became clear this song was not just entertainment…this was real! This girl was living this life, fighting the addiction and we were all so amused, weren’t we? I mean, there were more than a few radio shows and TV personalities having a hay day betting on when she was going to die. Or just talking about it. Laughing about it. Yeah, amusing, right? She is a celebrity, afterall. That makes it okay, right?

Those same people would most likely not be amused and making such bets had she been in their family, or someone they loved. Even their neighbor they didn’t really know too well.

Why do we feel we can laugh at and be so amused by the hardships of others – even if they are a celebrity?

Why does it become okay to make jokes about someone who is going through a tough time?

Is it because seeing these famous people having the same struggles as “real” people makes us feel better?

Or do celebrities place themselves in this position just by being celebrities? Heck, they wanted the attention when they first started out, they knew what was coming...right?

I have known a few addicts in my life, so while I was amused by the lyrics in the song, I also saw the dark realism there.

I heard the pain.

The song brought back memories for me as the family member of an addict, and those memories were not good ones. Addiction can shatter families and ruin lives. Addicts may be good people who love their families and go to work and pay their bills on time. They may be a neighbor or a good friend. A stranger you pass on the street. A parent, a child. A person.

No matter who it is, they are a person, with feelings. Celebrity or not.

So how many addicted people are out there right now, struggling with the shadows of their addiction?

Come to think of it...why did her song become so popular? Was it because of the realism or the amusement?

Or the fact that so many of us could relate to that song, in one way or another, whether because of ourselves or someone we know...

And why were people so entertained by this girls pain?

Addiction is no joke. There are very real consequences. Depression and addiction can be a deadly combination, whether the death is accidental or a suicide.

Typically, creative personality types are sensitive personalities, too. Nobody likes to be made fun of, or have their issues put on blast. If a person already has self-destrutive tendencies, this type of spotlight on those tendencies may cause them to implode.

We can talk about Amy because she is someone most of us are familiar with. I could not exactly comment here about my neighbor from 15 years ago and have you know what the heck I was talking about. In this case, we all saw the public struggle she went through.

So my question to you...did the media play a role in the death of Amy Winehouse?

Alcoholism Can Shatter Lives

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    • profile image

      ahorseback 

      6 years ago

      krazikat , I was never so enchanted with a singers voice as hers , at least since Billy Holliday , so smooth , bluesy ! I loved her voice , The media ,yes they are to blame too but for the most part its impossible to help where none is wanted! I kind of blame her family! too..........Nice tribute.

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 

      7 years ago from Summerland

      I wouldn't say that the media is to blame for her death, definitely a part of it, but not to blame. Amy Winehouse was an addict way before she was ever famous for her musical talents. I voted up and useful, points very well written and presented. :)

    • krazikat profile imageAUTHOR

      Ophelia Madden 

      7 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Thank you for the comments. I find it interesting that they are now saying there was o illegal drugs but there was alcohol - in an unknown amount. I am making the assumption that she is yet another to join the ranks of those abusing prescription drugs and drinking, a cause of death for many people, incuding celebrities...

      .josh I will be checking out your b=hubs!

      cooldad - you are right that people do not always listen to the lyrics but usually they do have some idea of the chorus as it is said over an dover but I have found myself singing along to songs where I was then shocked when I realized the words...I think ALOT of parents do that with their kids, letting them listen to stuff that is simply not appropriate without even realizing it...platinum it is really crazy what we can find as entertaining in this world.

    • platinumOwl4 profile image

      platinumOwl4 

      7 years ago

      I never listen to her songs, nor did I meet her, but I did read a great deal about her. And I felt sad for her, how did a young woman become so entangled with toxins. And why did'n the music company play a more active role in trying to get her to a treatment center as a condition of her contract. She was screaming for help and as you say it was a joke to many, how sad we have become in a civilized world. Is it we need to feel that we haven't' reached that level of depression yet.

    • cooldad profile image

      cooldad 

      7 years ago from Florida

      I don't think the media had anything to do with it. While I didn't know her personally, I'm guessing her addiction was well on its way before she was famous. Musicians, actors, and celebrities use the media for the benefit, which I have no problem with. But there comes a bad side to that as well. If they breathe wrong, the media will be all over it.

      As far as her lyrics, I think you may be giving people in general far too much credit. I think most people sing along without realizing what's behind the words.

    • seicheprey profile image

      seicheprey 

      7 years ago

      I don't think so, I think that alcoholism runs its own course and rarely needs an excuse.

    • .josh. profile image

      .josh. 

      7 years ago

      I think saying the media played a role might be a bit harsh, as they certainly didn't force Amy to do drugs or drink alcohol (and I think other factors played a significant role in her decision to go down that path), but their complacency over these past few years has been absolutely revolting.

      I, too, wrote a couple hubs in response to Winehouse's death, and was also quite disturbed by the lack of compassion from the public (or at least a sect of the public). Regardless of how she died, or who was ultimately responsible, this was incredibly sad, and we all lose out, as we'll never hear what she might have done with the rest of her career.

      Good hub! Well done.

    • krazikat profile imageAUTHOR

      Ophelia Madden 

      7 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      LeeLee - She was practically scrwaming for help. Addiction can be very hard to deal with for the families, too. Such an unfortunate situation. Manthy, you are right...too young and talented...very sad.

      Thank you both for reading and commenting.

    • manthy profile image

      Mark 

      7 years ago from Alabama,USA

      It is a sad thing to see her go out like that, she was too young and talented, I honestly think she died of a broken heart.

      Nice hub Thanks for sharing it

    • LeeLeePortCity profile image

      LeeLeePortCity 

      7 years ago from Wilmington

      I think the media had little to do with her death but i think they could have had a bigger role in helping her have a longer life. I have never seen such a loud cry for help than those of Amy Winehouse. I am sure there were few surprised to hear of her death. That is the saddest part. If each of us who knew her through her fame saw it coming how was it that her family was not more involved in her salvation? Not to pass blame for it was ultimately her life and her decisions, but we like to hope people can be saved with help.

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