'Entertainment Tonight' pulls Heath Ledger party video after PR firm applies pressure

Heathledgervideo_l
In response to industry pressures, Entertainment Tonight and The Insider
have pulled a planned segment on the late Heath Ledger, according to
a spokesperson for the shows. Celebrity PR firm ID Public Relations
had released a statement on Wednesday, condemning the Paramount-produced TV
shows for planning a segment that was to feature a video of Ledger allegedly under the influence. IDPR, which has represented
Ledger, contends that ET “purchased [the two-year old video]
for a large sum of money in the hopes of stirring up a salacious and
exploitive story about Heath, which would win them big ratings on the
first day of sweeps.” Reps for ET had no further comment.

addCredit(“Armando Gallo / Retna”)

When contacted by EW.com before ET announced it
would not air the video, ID partner Mara Buxbaum explained via e-mail
that “those who knew Heath know he was a kind-hearted, immensely
talented artist, and a devoted father. He tried to live his life
quietly and with humility. Certain media outlets’ attempts to exploit
and profit from his death is shameful and in the poorest of taste. We
implore the media and the public to let this grieving family bury their
son in private and with dignity.”

In its statement, ID included the e-mail addresses and office numbers of ET
executive producer Linda Bell Blue and Paramount executive Brad Bessey
in an effort to “pressure” the shows to pull the planned segment, which
was due to air tomorrow. Although ID represents a raft of A-list
talent, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Ellen Page, and Ben Stiller, Buxbaum
would not comment on whether that pressure might have also included a
boycott of the show. —Adam B. Vary

When contacted by EW.com before ET announced itwould not air the video, ID partner Mara Buxbaum explained via e-mailthat "those who knew Heath know he was a kind-hearted, immenselytalented artist, and a devoted father. He tried to live his lifequietly and with humility. Certain media outlets’ attempts to exploitand profit from his death is shameful and in the poorest of taste. Weimplore the media and the public to let this grieving family bury theirson in private and with dignity."

In its statement, ID included the e-mail addresses and office numbers of ETexecutive producer Linda Bell Blue and Paramount executive Brad Besseyin an effort to "pressure" the shows to pull the planned segment, whichwas due to air tomorrow. Although ID represents a raft of A-listtalent, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Ellen Page, and Ben Stiller, Buxbaumwould not comment on whether that pressure might have also included aboycott of the show. —Adam B. Vary

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  • Anonymous

    good!!!

  • noodles

    The sleasefest that is ET and The Insider have gone too far. Glad someone has called them on it. Funny, I don’t remember either show ever covering Heath Ledger that much when he was alive. Both shows are grizzly profiteers. Yuck.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent. Leave the man alone. His life was none of our business, and he’s not around anymore to confront these allegations, which makes all this just that much more egregious.

  • mgr

    Thank god that common human decency won out this time. ET is the worst when it comes to shameless exploitation. That show is absolutely despicable, and there is no low to which it will not sink.

  • smshpmkn

    good! they wouldve turned it into a huge sleaze ordeal. even though it was 2 years old. they didnt air it then? so why should they now? plus who hasnt been drunk before?

  • Anonymous

    I hope the video never earns them a penny. The sleazefest that is ET and the Insider and their ilk would be better off replaced with a blank, silent screen. This is a hard world to cope with even with a private life. Living the life Heath lived was bound to send him searching for some relief. We all need relief; we all don’t make the right choices — some of us don’t even know what the right choices are. If he was getting into the drug scene, he was in pain and therefore self-medicating. We don’t need to see his pain captured on an unauthorized video. Whoever got the money for selling it should immediately send it to Michelle for Matilda. Heath Ledger was not his drug-taking. He was talent, heart, and sweetness — an old soul, just like him mom said. Join me in NOT watching the video. Give Heath Ledger and his family that respect.

  • ali

    why can’t the news and tabloids just leave Heath be? It is so appalling how there is such little respect being shown. I refuse to believe all the negative reports about Heath. And another comment is exactly right – the news and tabloids NEVER reported on Heath until his death. I wish everyone would think about what this does for his family and close friends. And it’s no one’s business why Heath and Michelle split up – how do you think all of those reporters would feel having their entire life plastered all over the websites?

  • sunny

    It is in extremely poor taste to air a video of him at a party, especially since he was unaware that someone who he thought he could trust was taping him and hoping to profit. He seemed like a sweet, caring, sensitive and artistic person. The World is a darker place without him.

  • V.M.L.

    Wow, that is amazing! As a Heath Ledger fan, I find it disgusting how those tabloid shows would go out of their way to exploit a talented actor for the sake of ratings. I respect Heath. I don’t need to see the clips of his bagged body or coffin moving in and out of places. (That’s very sickening of those shows to replay such clips as if its nothing.) I don’t need to see photos of his loved ones looking sad while avoiding paparazzi. I don’t need to know anything about Mary-Kate Olsen. I don’t need to believe that Ledger was a druggie. I’ve been sick and tired of hearing the countless fake news about him. Tabloids keep shamelessly disrespecting Ledger and his loved ones. Ledger never deserved any of this. Now I avoid Ledger “news” as much as possible. Its all lies anyway. (What’s next, Ledger being friends with Osama Bin Laden?)
    I’m happy that people finally did something to stop such stupid exploitation. It seems that the tabloids never heard of the phrase “rest in peace.”

  • V.M.L.

    Wow, that is amazing! As a Heath Ledger fan, I find it disgusting how those tabloid shows would go out of their way to exploit a talented actor for the sake of ratings. I respect Heath. I don’t need to see the clips of his bagged body or coffin moving in and out of places. (That’s very sickening of those shows to replay such clips as if its nothing.) I don’t need to see photos of his loved ones looking sad while avoiding paparazzi. I don’t need to know anything about Mary-Kate Olsen. I don’t need to believe that Ledger was a druggie. I’ve been sick and tired of hearing the countless fake news about him. Tabloids keep shamelessly disrespecting Ledger and his loved ones. Ledger never deserved any of this. Now I avoid Ledger “news” as much as possible. Its all lies anyway. (What’s next, Ledger being friends with Osama Bin Laden?)
    I’m happy that people finally did something to stop such stupid exploitation. It seems that the tabloids never heard of the phrase “rest in peace.”

  • PJinGA

    Thank Goodness for IDPR!! ET and The Insider have reduced themselves to nothing more than trash rags promoting this story.
    What possible good would it do to play this 2 year old video?? From what I have read Heath Ledger has been keeping himself clean and to show this video just for ratings or to continue speculation that he died of a drug overdose is about as low as these programs can go.
    Shame on these programs. Remember the man for what he was and what might have been…not by the bad choices he may have made.

  • Carolyn

    Too bad they didn’t decide this film was hurtful to his family and friends before tonights episode. They revealed too much already.

  • HeathWasAGoodMan

    I want you to all know, anyway, that the video did not show Heath partaking of anything,. It just showed him there. They were simply going to use it to continue

  • HeathWasAGoodMan

    I want you to all know, anyway, that the video did not show Heath partaking of anything,. It just showed him there. They were simply going to use it to continue to stir implications.

  • Star

    To air a story which is two years old after the person is dead and not able to defend themselves is just low, even for The Insider and I personaly wold expect a little more from ET.

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