Verne Troyer, a talented actor that many can recall from Austin Powers and the Surreal Life, was found dead from alcohol intoxication, showing up on many headlines as suicide. Because the disease of alcoholism, or now known through the DSM as substance use disorder, hurts and baffles many, it continues to raise the question as to the responsibility of media, studios and management to make sure that this doesn’t happen again. Not that blame can be placed on anyone except the person who has been affected by it, but because the alcohol antics on the show depicted the actor on a stupor, which may have brought many laughs, but today there is nothing but sadness and heartfelt emotions for the loved ones, cinema and a world that loses one more person to a disease that affects more people than car crashes, yet we still prefer to pay more attention to a Tesla autonomous car crash than to an epidemic that hurts so many Americans and people worldwide.
Do studios care? Was there any intervention or notice to management or family after seeing Troyer stumble on the Surreal Life? Im pretty sure there wasn’t. There seemed to be fans reaching out by social media, even himself accepting there was a challenge. But theres money to be made until there isn’t. Whitney Houston, Tom Petty, Prince…the list goes on. We speak about opiates, fentanyl, a drug not known by mainstream media, and we hide behind the darkness of mental health, but little or no speak about the attention placed to the artists when there was a yellow or sign of something needing help.
We send our deepest condolences and continue to ask for a conversation, a statement from Hollywood studios and media as to what steps can be taken, and not the typical 30 dat detox and youre back to make us a movie excuse. These are lives. This could be us. Our father. Our son. Our daughter. Here’s to erasing the stigma of alcoholism and finding help, interventions and cures to begin steps and having this be an anomaly, not a commodity.