The year 2016 started on a very interesting note, the media was awash with a series of “beef”, accusations, speculations from celebrities and most of this took place on live television or the new soapbox, social media. It is easy to understand, people in the spotlight are human too, their susceptibility and insecurities are just seen on a much more magnified level.
I tell some of my colleagues, people generally need to have an “out” with all of life’s issues you have got to have an anchor; a solid spiritual life, great support system, a coach or mentor, someone you can trust and be vulnerable to without judging you. We all need it, some more than others because when “life happens” you want to be as stable as possible and not easily swayed by some of its storms. Some people might need to consult a psychologist before it becomes too late and then settle for a psychiatrist. Should I tell you a secret? A lot of creative people need it more than most.
Fame is a drug, it can suck you in and spit you out, it is fleeting and we have seen what it can do to people. One day you are just another John Doe and with a stroke of providence or what some people call luck, you become Johnny be Good thrown into a life you only dreamt of, having people call your name, want to be or believe they are your best friends, making money faster than the bakery can get fresh bread out, people telling you how much you mean to them, and even your own idols call you by name. Little wonder when you ask an average youngster today what they’d like to be when they grow up, musician, actor and footballer are ranked tops; who will say no to fame, money and the life associated to the first two things mentioned?
Life is all about balance and, while you are on the rollercoaster of luxury and on cloud nine, always remember that the rollercoaster still has to come down to earth, literally. You see, even the happiest place on earth shuts down for maintenance, re-evaluation and experiences downtimes the reason why it is hardly seen is they use the time that no one’s looking to recalibrate, re-evaluate and rejuvenate.
I would like to share examples of some meltdowns that were to amazing to ignore in the past years.
This former Nickelodeon starlet amazed the world sometime in 2013 with strange behaviour on Twitter, where she spoke about her need for more plastic surgery, was blatant about seducing Drake and posted photos of herself looking less recognizable and wearing very little clothing. She was arrested for allegedly throwing a bong out the window of her high-rise apartment window in midtown Manhattan; she claimed it was a vase (my question, why throw it out of the window in the first place?). She was involuntarily placed on psychiatric hold after setting fire to the driveway of a California home, eventually, a doctor diagnosed her as suffering from bipolarity and schizophrenia
We now understand Charlie Sheen’s past and bizarre behavior…to an extent.
The “Two and a Half Men” star left nearly everyone shocked when he went on a media rampage accusing everyone from his bosses at CBS to his ex-wives, all while offering up bizarre declarations and one-liners let us not forget his drinking tiger blood. On a darker note, many expressed concern that America was watching television’s highest-paid actor break down. I am not sure till date he has fully recovered from this even though we sympathise on his present predicament and understand he must have been under a lot of pressure to release his status and as such was being blackmailed left right and centre by people he trusted.
Lindsay Lohan has become the poster child for meltdowns Anonymous, her stints in jail, mug shot collection and apparent self-destructive behaviour in the last few years than she ever was for a film. After violating the terms of her 2007 DUI probation in 2010, Lindsay found herself back in jail, followed by court-enforced rehab. But within weeks of release, she tested positive for cocaine and went back to rehab with a tattered career and rumours of heavy debt. It pains me to even share some of what we hear she is into these days because she had such a promising future and could easily have been in the same league with the likes of Jennifer Lawrence and others now.
Paula Abdul was thrown back into our consciousness when her career was revived with her spot as a judge on “American Idol.” since then, she has had countless meltdowns, there were multiple appearances where she appeared to be suffering from “exhaustion” and on medication for her back that caused her to always seem, like she was on some kind of medication. In 2011, she called 911 on her boyfriend saying he had trapped her in the car, which her rep downplayed as simply a heated argument with “a loved one.”
Please who remembers in 2007, when Princess Britney Spears gave herself a pop-cut, sorry one in town hair cut? That was the most outlandish and sad cry for help after a year of divorces, partying, rehab trips, sex tape scandals and strange accents. These days, Spears seems to have gotten her act under control with her own Vegas show and a couple of hits (and almost marriages) since then
Before I continue, “All hail the Queen of Pop”! Ms Houston was on the road to becoming the undisputed queen of pop music legend. She was a triple threat, singer, actor and dancer, name it! It seemed everything she touched turned to gold until… a lot of people blame her romance with singer Bobby Brown he himself tabloid fodder for arrests for drug and alcohol related charges, public disturbance multiple times, and Houston’s two trips to rehab and misguided PR, anyone remember “Crack is wack”? Even though the couple divorced in April 2007 after 14 years of marriage (and a wack reality show), we all know how the story ended in 2012 allegedly to chronic cocaine use.
Mariah Carey considered the ultimate diva; who does things big including her meltdowns. Back in 2001, following the flop that was her film “Glitter,” Carey started acting strange; posting messages to fans on her official website saying she was “trying to understand things in life,” and that she “can’t trust anybody anymore,” She even publicly joined Michael Jackson to fight his ‘devil’ in person of her ex-husband, music mogul Tommy Motolla. She later checked herself into a hospital for “exhaustion.” Which in Hollywood-speak apparently means “crazy.”
Dave Chappelle allegedly underwent psychiatric treatment after he signed a $50 million contract with Comedy Central. He went missing for several weeks, until her was found in South Africa, saying stress and creative angst led him to flee.
Gucci Mane (well done sah) is no stranger to controversy in court and on social media, but he outdid himself one September when he unleashed a Twitter tirade of cosmic proportions. His 30-message rant, aimed at Drake, 2 Chainz, Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, T.I., Frenchie, 808 Mafia, Yo Gotti, Waka Flocka, Atlantic Records and so many others which we guess had to do with showbiz backstabbing was mind boggling, he also boasted of threesomes with Nicki Minaj, Tyga’s girlfriend Blac Chyna, and affairs with Ciara, Monica and Taraji P. Henson again, well done Sah
We guess the track he later released “Stealing” was therapy for him, because he claimed that his Twitter had been hacked by his former manager, and before you could say Jack Robinson, his entire account was deactivated. Whatever the actual reason, he apologized to his fans and admitted that he was seeking treatment for an addiction to cough syrup.
We cannot forget the master of rants, Uncle Kanye who when he isn’t jumping on stage to insert his opinion on who should win a particular award, he is stirring up fights on twitter with people who were minding their business, before he “stopped by” their time line. As if that isn’t enough he asks the founder of Facebook for a billion dollar loan, this he does on a competing platform. In the end we were told that he is just passionate about his art and honest. My guy, park well. Some people have used meltdowns to reintroduce their brand or sell their next project to their insatiable fan base.
Some talents have learnt how to use controversy to keep themselves in the minds and hearts of their followers. Have you noticed how before an artiste releases a new single or album or an actor’s latest movie is about to be released, they either on their way to rehab, have a meltdown or change partners?
Interesting how Robert Downey Jr, Paris Hilton, David Hasselhoff, Micahel Vick, Nicole Richie and others have cleaned up their acts since their own public meltdowns? The jury is still out on Charlie Sheen, even Aunty Naomi Campbell and Uncle Russell Crowe are not throwing phones at people any more. Some were not so fortunate: Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse easily come to mind and it hurts because their kind of talent never comes round for centuries and were already too far gone to get help.
In Nigeria or Africa, when an artiste or actor or celebrity acts out of character on social media they quickly “report” that their accounts to have been hacked by handlers or Lord help the person who is closest to them and they wish to crown with the cause of their present misfortune as the force behind the ‘rant’ or malicious statements spewed on their social media platforms.
Debt, Major life changes, pressure, health issues, bloated or bruised egos, career downturn, career and domestic demands, most times a cry for help because even they themselves, have no idea how to react to life’s changes. Let us pay attention.
–Emem is the CEO of ONE Management, a Nigeria-based media strategy and support company.