It was a gutting blow to acting when Phillip Seymour Hoffman was found dead. Even more so that it was at his own hand due to drug abuse. With the Oscars shortly to follow, it didn’t take long for British street artist Plastic Jesus to respond: on the streets of Hollywood, an 8-foot replica of an Oscar statue stands with a needle injecting into it’s arm. At first glance, it is easy to be offended and call it tasteless among other things: disrespectful, maybe? I refuse to decide, personally, as Plastic Jesus claims it is meant for more positive hopes. He views it as an attempt to raise awareness to these “stars” who are struggling with addiction and reminding them to seek the help they need before it is too late.
It’s sad to think that some people in the spotlight may feel invincible or something of the sort, but I don’t think it’s right to automatically assume so. Maybe? Absolutely, but entertainment stars are people too, and unless you’re Barkhad Abdi (more on that later) they are people with some money. But addiction is not set aside for poor people with nothing, or rich stars, or anyone, and that’s the point: it can happen to anyone who let’s it. I think PJ’s reminder that they are not immune is well intended, I just as not happy with the idea that these people might have to be reminded of such. But society has taken a turn for the dramatic. When Miley Cyrus dances in a very provocative manner on MTV, it is everywhere for months. When Randy Blythe (singer for Lamb of God, a heavy metal band) is wrongly accused of murder and arrested in the Czech Republic (2013) , very few in America were even aware, or still are. But celebrity has taken a role in our society regardless. No one will know PSH’s struggle like he did, projected as it will be one way or another. Sad, nontheless.