Monday, December 28, 2009

Death of Brittany Murphy

Do you see anything wrong with this?

One of the first things Brittany Murphy did when she showed up on the Oregon set of her indie thriller "Something Wicked" last June was acknowledge -- and apologize for -- her weight.

"I met her on the first day she arrived [on set] in Eugene with her husband," said Scott Chambers, a principal at Chambers Productions and an executive producer on the picture. "She looked ill, as much as 10 pounds underweight, and she's a small person to begin with. She easily could have made an excuse not to come to work, but she didn't. She said, 'I've got to get better, but I want to do this part.' "

A day after the death of the 32-year-old actress, people in the film business on Monday described a woman who continued to work tirelessly even as her star-wattage dimmed somewhat and health issues began to take their toll.

Murphy spent about three weeks shooting her role as a psychiatrist in "Something Wicked," a mystery thriller about a teenage couple experiencing eerie supernatural phenomena. Chambers noted that though the part was not physically demanding -- most of the scenes took place in an office setting -- he was nonetheless struck by Murphy's commitment to her part given her fragile state.

Mr. Chambers, your admiration is unwarranted and inappropriate.

It wasn't admirable that Brittany worked when she was both or either mentally or physically ill. What would have been admirable would have been if the people she worked for made an addendum to her contract that she demonstrate improvement in her condition by some criteria as perscribed by a mental health professional or medical doctor.

Mr. Chambers was sensitive to note Brittany's distress. However, he, and many of the other people in her life, were too cowardly to hold her hand on the path to wellness.

It's so easy to say, "not my problem." I just wonder why as individuals we feel that we have no responsibility to help those crying out for help.

Not to mention in Hollywood and popular culture Anorexia it is still an acceptable vice because being thin is so hypervalued.

And this trickels down to some men and women who view this look as an ideal In fact, I saw it written almost in the same breath that Murphy was hot and anorexic.

I've given up on most media embracing healthy women. But I do hope the next time an underweight actress walks into Mr. Chambers office he shows her the door to the nearest medical doctor.

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