Celebrity Sickness

Any celebrity who experiences a disabling injury or chronic illness has a tough row to hoe. I suspect it is a mistake to assume that a celebrity’s public revelations about his/her disease, treatment, prognosis and attitude bear much, if any relationship, to the truth. Montel Williams, Teri Garr and others have been criticized roundly for their overly optimistic, pollyanna-ish, and downright ignorant representations of multiple sclerosis in general and their own experiences in particular, but who among us would want to play out the minute-by-minute agony of learning about and coming to terms with a chronic illness on the public stage?

Montel Williams is now apparently ready to provide a more realistic account of his situation. So the next time I hear a celebrity brightly say, “I’m not going to let this beat me!”, I’m going to assume that’s the story for the masses, not necessarily that she’s stupid enough to believe it.


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