On July 13th, 2013 the world was shocked by the sudden death of Glee star Cory Monteith. Monteith played the lead role of Finn Hudson in the Fox hit TV show musical Glee alongside real life girlfriend at the time Lea Michele. He was found dead in his hotel room in Vancouver and was reported as having died of a mixed drug toxicity of alcohol and heroin. His death was mourned by fans of the show and fellow cast members alike.
A mere 5 years later Mark Salling, also a main cast member of the tv show was found dead of an apparent suicide at age 35. Salling who played Monteiths best friend Noah Puckerman on Glee was facing charges of up to 7 years imprisonment as he plead guilty of possession of child pornography. His death sparked major controversy and elicited several mixed responses from the public.
Tim Davis, who served as the vocal arranger of 6 seasons of Glee had other thoughts.
Today we lost another #Glee cast member.Yes, he committed crimes against children.Yes, it's horrific. But #MarkSalling was a broken man, no doubt an abuse victim himself. I loved Mark, and am sad when I consider the devastation of his parents. PLEASE withhold your cruel comments.
— Tim Davis (@loudmouthmuch) January 30, 2018
Let me be clear. Having compassion for #MarkSalling in no way minimizes his crimes, nor does it minimize the pain and devastation of the victims of those crimes. I'm just saying stop adding to his family's pain. This was their son. If you're without sin, feel free to cast stones.
— Tim Davis (@loudmouthmuch) January 30, 2018
I, myself being a major fan of glee, had mixed emotions coming to hear of Salling’s death. It was only after reading many articles and peoples responses that left me shocked at how insensitive this world can be at times. The problem here was never a matter of what is right and wrong with regards to his actions. Under no circumstance are Salling’s actions justifiable but suicide was not the solution. This clearly shows that Salling was fighting his own demons. This period was obviously difficult for his loved ones but to make matters worse, they would have to listen to people condemning him to an eternity in hell.
Another incident, which is still ongoing, to which one can draw parallels to is the Harvey Weinstein scandal. In early October 2017, reports surfaced that renowned film producer Harvey Weinstein allegedly sexually harassed and assaulted multiple women over decades.
Since this knowledge became public it has emboldened others to come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against celebrities — with studios, networks and major companies responding — in what some have dubbed the “Weinstein ripple effect.” This scandal could be the cause of so many more women and men coming forward with accusations of abuse and assault thereby creating a platform for similar cases to be discussed.
In addition to this, numerous other celebrities such as James Franco, Kevin Spacey, Johnny Depp, Ed Westwick and many more have had allegations made against them. For some of these actors there were consequences to bare. Spacey was fired from hit show House of Cards following these accusations. A Netflix spokesperson released a statement reading “Netflix will not be involved with any further production of House of Cards that includes Kevin Spacey. We will continue to work with MRC during this hiatus time to evaluate our path forward as it relates to the show”.
Golden globe winner James Franco was also left out of the Oscar nominations this year following his win for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy at the 2018 Golden Globes for the movie “The Disaster Artist”.
However despite all of this they still have the love and support of their fans and followers, with some going to great lengths to actually defend their heroes. So what is the difference between Salling’s case and the ones stated above that caused so much hate among his fans?
The only comprehensible conclusion one can come up with would be that once a famous person has passed on they become known for what sparked the biggest reaction from the world. Despite all the good things that person may have done, we choose to remember him for his flaws. It becomes easier to speak ill of someone after their death when they are no longer in the picture and all we have left of them are their works and tabloid articles written about them.
When it comes to celebrities or more specifically actors/actresses there is a fine line between getting attached to the role played by the actor and their actual self. This is where there is a major conflict of emotions. Ultimately, there is no said right or wrong in showing love and support to a celebrity that had a close connection to you through a portrayed role. After all we are only human. That being said, we should learn to exercise sensitivity and thoughtfulness when a situation arises and manage to keep our emotions in check as this can cause major hurt and emotional upheaval for close friends and family of the deceased or accused. Finally, instead of going on a rampage on Twitter without knowing the full story it maybe better to stay silent without letting emotions cloud your better judgement. Suicide after all is no laughing matter and certainly not something that should be celebrated, no matter who the victim was. In light of all recent events it is time for the world to come together and help and support those in need and take care of one another in order to build a better tomorrow.
Written by Aneeqah Macan Markar
Views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of IGNITE.