OPPOSING APPROACH – Some 50 or so showbiz personalities are said to be on the narcolist of the authorities.
Release their names… shame them!
No, talk to them first! Help them overcome drug addiction. Try TLC (tender loving care)!
Those are two opposing approach.
There are people, even from showbiz, in favor of shaming those with drug problems. But then the likes of Robin Padilla, Alma Concepcion, Rez Cortez, and Quezon City Congressman Alfred Vargas are for TLC. Even Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte is for helping drug users and not shaming them.
Sabrina M, Krista Miller, and Mark Anthony Fernandez are facing drug-related cases.
IN DEFENSE OF – In this regard a piece penned by Congressman Vargas is most timely, relevant. It’s titled “Fallen angels: Not all addicts are bad.” It reads:
The recent string of celebrity-related drug arrests is quite alarming. To tell you the truth, being an actor myself, it personally pains me to see these personalities waste their career and life opportunities because of illegal substances.
You won’t believe the numerous bashings these celebrities have received from both fans and co-workers. There are some who say they deserve it, others say they have been warned but refused to stop, others give a big sigh and say “Sayang!” or worse, others say they have become a burden to society. There are loyal fans though who continue to look up to their idols. Nevertheless, the judgments continue. Truly, their personal and professional lives will never be the same again after this.
BUT, there is still hope.
REFLECTIONS – Allow me to share my reflections and impart what can still be done to ease the burden this is bringing to the industry and our country.
1) Not all drug users are bad people. This is self-explanatory. We all know this.
2) No one is exempted from this problem, not even society’s “VIPs.” Victims of this evil can be your own family, friend or colleague. They could be the youth in your neighborhood or the quiet employee in your company. They could be the people you meet everyday without even knowing it. It is everybody’s concern, including you.
3) Being a celebrity is a big privilege that comes with a big responsibility. If you’re an actor, you’re public property. Whatever you say or do is magnified in the consciousness of our society. If you do good, you are elevate.
If you do bad, you are crucified. The personalities recently arrested for illegal drug use are not even drug lords or big time pushers. But they are now branded as sinful and unforgiveable. This is the reality. But there is another kind of reality. The kind that gives actors the chance to own up and make up for their mistakes, and inspire others to rise up and recover. Being celebrity places you in a position where you are fully capable to effect positive change in society. Grab this.
4) There exists a fierce urgency to act now. The industry needs to talk and plan about how to prevent further incidences. It’s time to strategize and organize. I think that just as other sectors are combining efforts to solve this problem, the same approach should be adapted in the entertainment industry. It’s time for PNP and PDEA to meet with the managers of the actors, parents, network bosses, film producers, actors’ movements, or even the celebrities themselves to come up with an effective framework that will solve this drug problem.
5) There is still hope. This administration is dead serious about this fight. So are the industry stakeholders, civil society organizations, media, and other anti-drug advocates. This strength in unity will surely lead us to meaningful reform in the showbiz industry.
Film producers always say that a true star can only deliver his best performance if the role that he is playing is challenging. A true star, in sports, shines the brightest during clutch and under pressure. A true star, in life, takes on challenges and rises to the occasion.
A true star never gives up. So let us not give up on them.
Because a fallen star can shine again.