Actor Joaquin Phoenix dreads to think what the media frenzy would be like if his older brother River had died in today’s celebrity-obsessed age of fast communications.
Joaquin famously phoned the emergency services as River lay dying of a drugs overdose outside Johnny Depp’s Los Angeles nightclub The Viper Room in 1993.
And the Walk The Line actor is thankful that the news of River’s death wasn’t discussed all over the world online as it would be now.
“When my brother passed it was toward the end of an era,” he says. “If it had happened much later, it would have been on a lot of f**king blogs. The amount of information flying back and forth now has just gone beyond comprehension… In some ways it’s hard to swallow. It makes you feel sick about yourself and about human beings. You look at yourself and say, ‘When have I exploited others and been voyeuristic?’
He added: “The thing we should be discussing in the news, what the media should be going after in a heartless way, isn’t the family of somebody who has passed away, but instead – oh, I don’t know – how about a president who’s lying? That’s not to say my brother’s life didn’t have value, but it certainly did not deserve to be covered more than world politics and other important issues, particularly when death happens every day to millions of people all over the world and we don’t seem to give a f**k about that.”
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