ET canned the idea of running the two year old tape showing Heath Ledger doing drugs and thus exploiting Heath Ledger’s death for top ratings during sweeps week because they were put under pressure by Michelle Williams’ PR people the Post reports and that’s not entirely surprising. That’s the other basic explanation. Yesterday I said it came down to advertising revenue which is more or less the same principle but wasn’t exactly correct.
Apparently, a whole lot of actors sent in messages voicing their support for the pressure being put on ET:
“Scarlett Johansson text-messaged: "As if Heath's poor family doesn't have enough to suffer through." A rep for Johansson confirmed she "was involved." "ET" producers also got a call from
Natalie Portman and e-mails from Josh Brolin and Sarah Jessica Parker, said a source.”
Which makes sense really because the daily grind in celebrity PR is a give and take game of intrusion and adoration. At the heart of it, this works for celebrities because they get to get back at the media outlets that have caused them harm in the past.
It’s just always interesting the way media issues like this are always about the balance of power and the ability to generate money and worth and yet the explanation is always anchored in the involved parties’ need for “decency”.
It was the same with NBC’s decision to fire Don Imus and it’s the same with this. It’s all business, there’s no humanity in it at all. If Michelle Williams were less famous the idea that she should exploit this to some extent would have been a more viable option and it would definitely have been something her PR people would have considered. [source]