NAMI--StigmaBusters Alert: July 1, 2005
Boos For Cruise
Protests have grown steadily since actor Tom Cruise, while promoting the movie, "The War of the Worlds," first criticized actress Brooke Shields for taking antidepressants for postpartum depression.
On June 24, Cruise finally crossed a line when in a TODAY Show television interview, he declared: "There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance." In an Entertainment Weekly interview, he also compared psychiatry to Nazism.
Along with the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and National Mental Health Association (NMHA), NAMI condemned Cruise’s remarks in a formal statement released to the news media. He is entitled to his personal point of view, but not false facts -- particularly when they perpetuate stigma around the nature of mental illness and treatment.
Some StigmaBusters have called for a symbolic boycott of the new movie. Realistically, there’s little hope of making a dent in the millions of dollars in profits it is expected to rake in. But every individual can make a choice based on personal conscience—and write letters to editors condemning the irresponsibility of his remarks.
Cruise also has spread his views as part of a Paramount Studios publicity tour for the movie. Don’t let the studio off the hook. Please contact its head to make the following points:
Mental illnesses involve biological brain disorders, no matter what Tom Cruise says. Medication and proper therapy often make a difference between life and death.
It is irresponsible for Paramount Studios and Mr. Cruise to use a movie publicity tour to promote an ideological view that deters people with mental illness from getting the care they need—and adds to stigma.
Paramount Studios should help undo the damage. Support legitimate mental health organizations and public awareness campaigns around mental illnesses.
Contact:Brad Grey Chairman & CEO Paramount Studios 5555 Melrose Avenue Hollywood, California 90038 323-956-5000 323-862-1204 (fax)
NOTE--I've had reports of the Paramount guy's email address bouncing things back, so he must have been inundated with angry emails and changed his address. Stick with actual snail-mail letters; They have more impact, anyway. Image above borrowed from http://tomcruiseisnuts.com.