Author Topic: Heath Ledger - News Accounts  (Read 329104 times)

Offline Meryl

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Re: Heath Ledger - News Accounts
« Reply #310 on: January 31, 2008, 10:14:08 pm »
Meryl, all I can say is they had all better pray they don't run into me in a dark alley. There are some things I am more than happy to get arrested for. I was ready to mobilize if Phelps and co. so much as entered NYC.

Oh yeah. Bring it on, Freddie!!  To get in shape for that, I'd go to the gym and work out twice a day.  :D
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Offline Verona

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Re: Heath Ledger - News Accounts
« Reply #311 on: January 31, 2008, 10:15:15 pm »
Oh yeah. Bring it on, Freddie!!  To get in shape for that, I'd go to the gym and work out twice a day.  :D
I'll spot ya, pardner...  ;)

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Re: Heath Ledger - News Accounts
« Reply #312 on: January 31, 2008, 10:32:42 pm »
More from The Huffington Post:


Celebs Rally To Pull Heath Ledger Drug Video

AP   |  David Bauder   |   January 31, 2008 06:06 PM

It was a striking example of Hollywood protecting its own: After an aggressive lobby from powerful film industry figures, "Entertainment Tonight" decided against airing a video that shows the late Heath Ledger hanging out at a party where drugs were being taken.

The show said it pulled the story "out of respect for Heath Ledger's family." But don't discount the effect of a lightning-fast campaign launched by a public relations firm that represents many of the stars "Entertainment Tonight" depends upon for stories.

Even some celebrities themselves _ Natalie Portman and Sarah Jessica Parker, to name a couple _ called to urge "ET" to pull the plug.

"Entertainment Tonight" is hardly the lone news organization to broach the topic of potential drug abuse by the star. But the video it acquired, reportedly taken two years ago at a party at the Chateau Marmont Hotel, drew the fiercest attention.

The syndicated magazine's sister show, "The Insider," aired a "preview" of the story that it had planned to run Thursday that actually showed several segments of the video. Following the protest, "The Insider" yanked the segment from the West Coast version of its telecast.

Ledger is seen standing in the doorway of a room where the party was taking place, swigging from a beer bottle. The actor is heard saying that he was "going to get serious (word bleeped) from my girlfriend" for being at the party.

The show made clear that there was nothing on the video showing Ledger taking any drug. At one point, however, the then-26-year-old said he "used to smoke five joints a day."

But a person who has seen the entire video, who asked not to be identified because of its sensitive nature, said Ledger then points to his tattoo of "M" (for his daughter, Matilda Rose) and says, "this is to remind me never to smoke weed again." That part of the quote was not used in Wednesday's preview.

Later, with Ledger in the background, an unidentified man, his face blurred, seems to snort cocaine from a table.

After seeing a promotion for the show Wednesday, a publicist at ID, Ledger's public relations firm, called "Entertainment Tonight" and asked that the segment be pulled. The request was refused.

ID then composed a three-paragraph protest letter that it distributed to some 30 other public relations firms around Hollywood, asking them to tell their clients about what was about to happen. The circle included powerhouse publicists like PMK-HBH, 42 West and BWR.

The letter said "ET" had paid a large sum of money for the video to stir up an exploitive story about Ledger.

"For the sake of his grieving family and friends, his child and common decency, we hope to pressure `Entertainment Tonight' and `The Insider' to do the right thing and pull the spot," the letter said. "This is not journalism, it is sensationalism. It is a shameful exploitation of the lowest kind, to a talented and gentle soul, undeserving of such treatment."

Stars, studio executives and PR firms all called "ET" to register protests, said Kelly Bush, CEO of ID. The star-studded roster of Bush's firm alone includes Robin Williams, Sean Penn, Tobey Maguire, Mike Myers, Jennifer Hudson, Katie Holmes, Ellen DeGeneres, and Ledger's "Brokeback" co-star Jake Gyllenhaal.

Bush said the response was unlike anything she'd ever seen.

"I hope it represents a turning point," she said. "I think we have all heard from members of the media and members of the public that it's too much. Britney Spears and Paris Hilton are the top news stories when Darfur should be."

No boycott was threatened, she said. But when a television show that needs celebrities like living things need oxygen hears from so many powerful sources, a threat probably wasn't necessary.

Not a spoken one, anyway.

"We need them as much as they need us," Bush said. She wouldn't speculate on what made "Entertainment Tonight" change its mind, but said "they've probably never gotten this much heat before over anything."

Executives at "Entertainment Tonight" refused to talk publicly about the retreat. There was some bewilderment and anger at the company about why its show was singled out when many other publications and TV outlets were talking about the same thing. The party video is likely to be seen soon in England, and is already available over the Internet.

But "ET" can't complain about getting nothing for its money. Even though it was called a "preview," "The Insider" already aired a significant story with salient portions of the video, while maintaining the appearance of having taken the high road in the end.

Drew Pinsky, star of VH1's "Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew," backed "Entertainment Tonight." He saw the video and was quoted by the show, calling it "heartbreaking."

"When a 28-year-old seemingly healthy man, whom we love and respect, dies suddenly, there is a reason," Pinsky said. "His death plays upon our deepest fears. We owe it to the public to try to answer the question why. I am convinced that if this heart-wrenching video had aired, it would have gotten through and had a positive effect on young people in America. Perhaps it could have even saved some lives."

Also unanswered are questions about how much the Hollywood friends who jumped to Ledger's defense this week knew about any drug use while he was alive, and what they had done to help him. Few of the people close to Ledger have come forth with statements since his death, and those who have chose not to broach the topic of any possible drug use.

One notable exception was Lee Daniels, who produced "Monster's Ball," in which Ledger starred.

"The definition of substance abuse is really up to one's perspective," Daniels told The Associated Press last week. "I didn't see him as a drug addict. I saw him as someone who enjoyed life. I know drug addicts; he was not a drug addict."



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/01/31/celebs-rally-to-pull-heat_n_84357.html
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Offline nakymaton

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Re: Heath Ledger - News Accounts
« Reply #313 on: January 31, 2008, 11:53:12 pm »
Um. Let me get this straight. Somebody took a video that showed that Heath was at a Hollywood party at which other people were snorting cocaine, and this was supposed to imply that Heath had a drug habit bad enough for Michelle to throw him out?

So we're down to pictures of Heath smoking cigarettes and drinking beer, and stories that he smoked pot in the past, and this is supposed to imply that drugs were implicated in his death?

Excuse me while I break out an old emoticon:  ::) ::) ::)

Dear ET: I am very glad that the stars gave you a well-deserved smackdown for that.
Watch out. That poster has a low startle point.

Offline ednbarby

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Re: Heath Ledger - News Accounts
« Reply #314 on: January 31, 2008, 11:54:17 pm »
Give 'em Hell, Harry!!!

Sorry - that just sprang to mind.  So glad to hear that was thwarted and that so many rallied to Heath's defense.  And really, to the defense of common fucking decency.

I mean, Jesus Christ, how low can they go?  I think we just found out.  Thank goodness they didn't get away with it.  And how despicable - to cut the most pertinent part of the video that would essentially exonerate him.  Fucking bastards.

I hope it'll be a turning point, too.  I doubt it will, but I hope it will.
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Offline louisev

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Re: Heath Ledger - News Accounts
« Reply #315 on: February 01, 2008, 12:04:12 am »
In response to a wildly inaccurate article in 'Perth Now' a commenter who worked with Heath on BBM left the following comment:

I worked with Heath when he was in Alberta on Broke Back Mountain and I found him to be a very gentle soul - always gracious, polite and passionate about his craft. I didn't see a wild drug addict. I saw no evidence of any drug taking, drinking or any other vice. Everyone LOVED working with him, and he was professional to the core. Now leave him alone whether you are press in the US, Canada, Australia et al... Let him rest in peace, his family heal and his daughter grow up untarnished by the crap generated by so called journalists.

(Gypsy of Canada)

http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/comments/0,21590,23137533-5012990,00.html

Another, even more intriguing comment was left a little while later:

The tape has likely been closely reviewed in a lab and was found to have been edited and faked, which is why the decision to not air it. The media blitzes to air a story and the only reason why they wouldn't is because it has been edited/staged /a phoney.....and the media knows liable and slander will only follow if they air the fabricated rubbish.

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Offline Verona

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Re: Heath Ledger - News Accounts
« Reply #316 on: February 01, 2008, 12:11:37 am »
Um. Let me get this straight. Somebody took a video that showed that Heath was at a Hollywood party at which other people were snorting cocaine, and this was supposed to imply that Heath had a drug habit bad enough for Michelle to throw him out?

So we're down to pictures of Heath smoking cigarettes and drinking beer, and stories that he smoked pot in the past, and this is supposed to imply that drugs were implicated in his death?

Excuse me while I break out an old emoticon:  ::) ::) ::)

Dear ET: I am very glad that the stars gave you a well-deserved smackdown for that.
Yep. That's it in a nutshell. He was smoking (which was hardly a secret) and drinking a beer two years ago. And someone else was doing drugs. From that it was reported that he was doing drugs and saying his girlfriend would kill him if she saw him doing those drugs.

Talk about jumping to conclusions.

Offline belbbmfan

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Re: Heath Ledger - News Accounts
« Reply #317 on: February 01, 2008, 02:55:05 am »
More from The Huffington Post:


Celebs Rally To Pull Heath Ledger Drug Video

AP   |  David Bauder   |   January 31, 2008 06:06 PM

It was a striking example of Hollywood protecting its own: After an aggressive lobby from powerful film industry figures, "Entertainment Tonight" decided against airing a video that shows the late Heath Ledger hanging out at a party where drugs were being taken.

The show said it pulled the story "out of respect for Heath Ledger's family." But don't discount the effect of a lightning-fast campaign launched by a public relations firm that represents many of the stars "Entertainment Tonight" depends upon for stories.

Even some celebrities themselves _ Natalie Portman and Sarah Jessica Parker, to name a couple _ called to urge "ET" to pull the plug.

"Entertainment Tonight" is hardly the lone news organization to broach the topic of potential drug abuse by the star. But the video it acquired, reportedly taken two years ago at a party at the Chateau Marmont Hotel, drew the fiercest attention.

The syndicated magazine's sister show, "The Insider," aired a "preview" of the story that it had planned to run Thursday that actually showed several segments of the video. Following the protest, "The Insider" yanked the segment from the West Coast version of its telecast.

Ledger is seen standing in the doorway of a room where the party was taking place, swigging from a beer bottle. The actor is heard saying that he was "going to get serious (word bleeped) from my girlfriend" for being at the party.

The show made clear that there was nothing on the video showing Ledger taking any drug. At one point, however, the then-26-year-old said he "used to smoke five joints a day."

But a person who has seen the entire video, who asked not to be identified because of its sensitive nature, said Ledger then points to his tattoo of "M" (for his daughter, Matilda Rose) and says, "this is to remind me never to smoke weed again." That part of the quote was not used in Wednesday's preview.

Later, with Ledger in the background, an unidentified man, his face blurred, seems to snort cocaine from a table.

After seeing a promotion for the show Wednesday, a publicist at ID, Ledger's public relations firm, called "Entertainment Tonight" and asked that the segment be pulled. The request was refused.

ID then composed a three-paragraph protest letter that it distributed to some 30 other public relations firms around Hollywood, asking them to tell their clients about what was about to happen. The circle included powerhouse publicists like PMK-HBH, 42 West and BWR.

The letter said "ET" had paid a large sum of money for the video to stir up an exploitive story about Ledger.

"For the sake of his grieving family and friends, his child and common decency, we hope to pressure `Entertainment Tonight' and `The Insider' to do the right thing and pull the spot," the letter said. "This is not journalism, it is sensationalism. It is a shameful exploitation of the lowest kind, to a talented and gentle soul, undeserving of such treatment."

Stars, studio executives and PR firms all called "ET" to register protests, said Kelly Bush, CEO of ID. The star-studded roster of Bush's firm alone includes Robin Williams, Sean Penn, Tobey Maguire, Mike Myers, Jennifer Hudson, Katie Holmes, Ellen DeGeneres, and Ledger's "Brokeback" co-star Jake Gyllenhaal.

Bush said the response was unlike anything she'd ever seen.

"I hope it represents a turning point," she said. "I think we have all heard from members of the media and members of the public that it's too much. Britney Spears and Paris Hilton are the top news stories when Darfur should be."

No boycott was threatened, she said. But when a television show that needs celebrities like living things need oxygen hears from so many powerful sources, a threat probably wasn't necessary.

Not a spoken one, anyway.

"We need them as much as they need us," Bush said. She wouldn't speculate on what made "Entertainment Tonight" change its mind, but said "they've probably never gotten this much heat before over anything."

Executives at "Entertainment Tonight" refused to talk publicly about the retreat. There was some bewilderment and anger at the company about why its show was singled out when many other publications and TV outlets were talking about the same thing. The party video is likely to be seen soon in England, and is already available over the Internet.

But "ET" can't complain about getting nothing for its money. Even though it was called a "preview," "The Insider" already aired a significant story with salient portions of the video, while maintaining the appearance of having taken the high road in the end.

Drew Pinsky, star of VH1's "Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew," backed "Entertainment Tonight." He saw the video and was quoted by the show, calling it "heartbreaking."

"When a 28-year-old seemingly healthy man, whom we love and respect, dies suddenly, there is a reason," Pinsky said. "His death plays upon our deepest fears. We owe it to the public to try to answer the question why. I am convinced that if this heart-wrenching video had aired, it would have gotten through and had a positive effect on young people in America. Perhaps it could have even saved some lives."

Also unanswered are questions about how much the Hollywood friends who jumped to Ledger's defense this week knew about any drug use while he was alive, and what they had done to help him. Few of the people close to Ledger have come forth with statements since his death, and those who have chose not to broach the topic of any possible drug use.

One notable exception was Lee Daniels, who produced "Monster's Ball," in which Ledger starred.

"The definition of substance abuse is really up to one's perspective," Daniels told The Associated Press last week. "I didn't see him as a drug addict. I saw him as someone who enjoyed life. I know drug addicts; he was not a drug addict."



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/01/31/celebs-rally-to-pull-heat_n_84357.html

Thank you for posting this. I feel much better now.

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Offline belbbmfan

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Re: Heath Ledger - News Accounts
« Reply #318 on: February 01, 2008, 02:56:19 am »
Oh gosh, this is better than sex. I feel like lighting a cigarette and spooning my computer. LOL (and I don't even smoke)

HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD!!

 ;D  ;D  8)
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Offline TOoP/Bruce

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Re: Heath Ledger - News Accounts
« Reply #319 on: February 01, 2008, 03:41:15 am »
I just read these comments from Billy Bush from Access Hollywood:

http://www.accesshollywood.com/article/8213/and#039;Outrageous-Tonightand%23039;/

Quote
'Outrageous Tonight'
Jan 31, 2008
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Jan 31, 2008 00:47 AM
I don't often comment on our competition, but because we have so much of it in the "entertainment show" genre these days, we are often lumped in a group together. The fact is, we're very different, and that stems mostly from the difference in scruples of the respective Executive Producers.

”Entertainment Tonight” and “The Insider” ran a promo tonight for their Heath Ledger drug use video, which they "reportedly" (love that lawyer enforced word) bought for a couple hundred thousand dollars. A still frame of this video which shows Heath apparently doing cocaine ran on the east coast feed of “ET,” but on the west coast feed, the tasteless still shot was replaced with a shot of someone's feet (Heath’s, I guess). The voice over by Mary Hart had not changed, however. She still spoke of the incriminating scene and still promo'd the full video tomorrow.

Yes, the still shot was just a taste. Tomorrow is Day 1 of the sweeps ratings period.

Gross. Totally gross.
And add to that some predictability:

”ET” and “The Insider” higher ups released this tonight:

"Out of respect for HEATH LEDGER's family, ‘Entertainment Tonight’ and ‘The Insider’ have decided not to run the Heath Ledger video which has been circulating in the world media,"

"Out of respect" — Oh my. How about, "in response to a letter of outrage, written by Heath's publicist, circulating the industry hotter and faster than nude Brangelina photos could, we have decided to duck and run here.” That would be refreshingly honest.

Here's an excerpt of that aforementioned letter by Heath's publicity firm and clearly in defense of those loved ones of Heath's still reeling from the loss:

”Tonight Entertainment Tonight/The Insider are previewing an extremely distasteful segment regarding Heath Ledger. The segment centers around a two-year old video ET purchased for a large sum of money in the hopes of stirring up a salacious and exploitive story about Heath, which would win them big ratings on the first day of sweeps. The two outlets did not even have the courtesy to wait until after Heath’s burial to broadcast this segment. They intend to air the full segment tomorrow.”

For the sake of his grieving family and friends, his child, and common decency, we hope to pressure “Entertainment Tonight” and “The Insider” to do the right thing and pull the spot. This is not journalism, it is sensationalism. It is a shameful exploitation of the lowest kind, to a talented and gentle soul, undeserving of such treatment.

Wow. I don't always leap to the side of publicists, because objectivity is sometimes an afterthought. They are hired to shape an image, but --

Heath Ledger's family has not even had the chance to bury their son. We know he had problems, but this kind of salacious opportunism is poisonous.

I struggle with every type of borderline exploitive material. I'm a constant pain to our Executive Producer as I worry too much that things go too far. Ask him.

I am shocked that Mary Hart would read this crap. I know her and she is a very nice lady, but its clear to me she's "checked out" of that place, basically taking whatever they put in her hand and reading it with the same excitable veneer you'd expect to hear at a 50's sock hop.

Mary gets paid a lot of money. She must have the clout to say 'no.' Their Executive producer used to run “Hard Copy.” She doesn't hit the brakes for anything. But Mary, you are the June Cleaver of entertainment news; this cannot be OK.

Let's see how long the outrage lasts.

Tabloid people never call each other out like that. 

(Billy Bush is a cousin of some sort to the White House Bushes.)
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