Amanda Bynes spent yesterday driving around LA on a suspended license, eating tacos and smoking weed. This is the latest in a string of erratic behavior for the actress, including several hit-and-run accidents, public intoxication, and a DUI arrest. Media outlets have been covering Amanda’s slow breakdown for months, but here’s what I don’t understand: why isn’t anything being done to help her?
Amanda’s recent sketchy activities are clearly a cry for help. Anyone can see that this woman is mentally ill (or at least struggling with some issues), and in a downward spiral. It’s Lindsay Lohan all over again, minus the cocaine and the Samantha Ronson. And like the situation with Lindsay, all I see from gossip sites is a sense of derisive amusement. Amanda Bynes is a washed up child star, LOL! Look at how messed up Amanda Bynes is! Amanda Bynes is crazy! It’s sad; at this point, someone should be pointing out that her behavior has gone way beyond crazy and messed up; we are fully into get this girl some help, STAT! territory, at least in my opinion.
Sure, Gawker and similar websites don’t have an obligation to do anything other than report on Amanda’s activities, but it’s sad to see phrases like, “We’ve had our share of amusement over the last few months making fun of former child star Amanda Bynes’ predilection for endangering the lives of her fellow drivers.” Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t find it particularly hilarious when an obviously troubled young woman makes a public spectacle of herself repeatedly, especially when other people’s lives are threatened.
But I’m certainly in the minority on that; our culture loves to watch women (Lindsay, Britney) breakdown in front of our eyes and in front of the paparazzi’s lenses: we always want more. More pictures of bald-headed Britney attacking a car with an umbrella, more pictures of Lindsay Lohan passed out in a passenger seat, more pictures of the marijuana residue in Amanda Bynes’ car cupholders. We’ll watch them until they attempt to get help and then when they do, we’ll rack them up if they’re unsuccessful with their sobriety, their inpatient program or their group therapy. That’s how it is, but that doesn’t mean it’s right.
When celebrities get in car accidents, people always wonder why they don’t hire a driver. That’s definitely a good question in Amanda’s case, but I’m wondering whether she has a manager. Or an assistant. Or a therapist. Or even a mom or dad. (Her dad told People earlier this year: “My daughter doesn’t drink.” Um, denial?)
Where is Amanda’s support system? She’s an adult woman, so she’s entitled to make her own decisions (even if they do include driving on a suspended license while stoned), but is there no one in her life that can help her see that she needs to stop, slow down, and get some help? Obviously, I don’t have all the information here: maybe her family has staged an intervention, and maybe she’s refused. Maybe she needs to hit “rock bottom,” or maybe she has to reach out for help herself. Regardless, it doesn’t look like the media is going to stop covering her craziness anytime soon, but let’s hope someone, anyone, can help her get the assistance she needs before she hurts herself or someone else.
Photo: Pacific Coast News via LA County Sheriff