Idol Chatter

winehouse_idol.jpgBack when the problems of the pop-tart phenoms were mostly restricted to their over-revealing fashion choices, my then Beliefnet colleague and now co-blogger Ellen Leventry and I had the same question for every new outrage: “Where’s her mother?” Britney, Christina Aguilera, even Mariah of the old days–they all have parents, right? Isn’t their job, or at least their desire, to make sure their children don’t embarrass themselves?

Okay, so some of their parents aren’t in much of a position to take a position: Lindsay Lohan’s mom and dad just finalized a vicious divorce, leaving Dad, who just finished a stint in prison, to go back to his own rehab at a Christian faith-based treatment center on Long Island.
Yesterday, one parent finally spoke up–Giles Fielder-Civil, the stepfather of British singing sensation Amy Winehouse’s husband, Blake. Winehouse has done little to hide her heroin use–one of her hits, “Rehab,” is a sung refusal to give up the highlife. (And oh so helpfully, a print shop in England has made available a wall hanging of the song’s refrain. See it here).
After pulling out of two shows in Scandinavia two weeks ago, Winehouse postponed her U.S. tour, citing health reasons. Fearing that Amy and Blake would become the Sid and Nancy of the current generation, Giles urged the public to boycott Amy’s albums until she got herself straight. He also faulted Amy’s label, Island, for looking the other way. “We believe that the record company should be proactive in helping the couple get better,” he said. His comments started a tit-for-tat in the media between Blake’s parents and Amy’s, who called his idea unwise.
As a treatment tactic, cutting off the flow of cash doesn’t always work. The substance abuser often indulges feelings of rejection by getting higher, and the need for resources can prompt them to do things they won’t be proud of later. So we’re not going to fault the Winehouses for objecting, or will we endorse Giles’s suggestion. But it’s heartening to see elders looking out for their youngsters.

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