Guest Post: Maia’s Descent Is No Laughing Matter

I’m late getting this post up due to my long Labor Day weekend without computer access but last week, actress Maia Campbell’s name lit up the Twitterverse. Where the majority of people were quick to barbecue Campbell and speculate on her behavior (drugs, mental illness, etc) I tried to stay on the periphery and avoid making light of what could be a serious situation. Additionally, I find little comedy in actual drug addiction. Therefore, I was glad that my good friend D.L. Chandler (twitter: @dlc123) was able to put into words what I couldn’t/wouldn’t express. I considered not posting this because the buzz around Campbell has died down but whatever she’s dealing with is not over and the message in D.L.’s post remains relevant.

Maia’s Descent Is No Laughing Matter – D.L. Chandler

Like many young men in the 1990s, I found actress Maia Campbell to be one of the more attractive young black starlets on television. Early on, I discovered that she hailed from the Greater Washington Metropolitan area just as I did and that factoid endeared me to her as well. Of late Maia Campbell has fallen out of the public eye, and has been unfairly ridiculed by her poor life choices fueled by her bout with Schizophrenia. The daughter of late bestselling author Bebe Moore Campbell, Maia found fame on the LL Cool J vehicle In The House. For 3 seasons, the show enjoyed some mild success and Maia Campbell was a prominent fixture of the sitcom. Once the show ended, Maia worked bit parts in television and small movies, but nothing more.

I am not going to play reporter here and try to guess what happened beyond that point. What I do know is that in the last three years, nude photos of an obviously inebriated Campbell and a very recent video of the actress has appeared on the Internet. The gossip blogs, Twitter, message boards and news outlets (such as The Examiner) have all had their say to the inner workings of Ms. Campbell’s fall. We don’t know what’s leading her down this path nor do we know if she’s ever had adequate help – at least as far as what’s been released publicly. However, what is quite telling is how much of my Twitter feed was filled with hurtful jokes about her condition. The blogs and their comment fields were also filled with the same insensitive and lame commentary found in the linked Examiner piece above.

I immediately felt sorrow for Maia Campbell after viewing the video and wanted nothing more than to protect her. It triggered an almost instinctive brotherly reaction. It was if I saw my little sister on that screen and just wanted to snatch that camera away from her antagonist and whisk her away. There wasn’t anything humorous about this scenario. There wasn’t a reason to make this a Twitter topic of the day. It didn’t have to become this ugly display of humanity – anonymous keyboard cowards levying all types of hurtful, insensitive words towards Maia. I’ve just read that there’s a prayer campaign for Maia Campbell and that’s great. I’m not a religious person but this is obviously a step in the right direction so I support it fully.

Many of us know a Maia Campbell, a young person lost to their own devices and lacking the help, love and care needed to rise above whatever demons ails them. Are we to look at Maia Campbell with pity or are we to act when we see this pattern in our respective cities and towns? What did you truly feel when you saw Maia in that state? What would you do if you saw it? Are you witnessing something of this nature now? Are you out there helping to prevent more lost souls? Are you content with reading the insensitive comments and hashtags on Twitter? I know I’m not. I know that any time I can help a person – young or old – I’m going to give whatever time I can spare. I don’t see how we can look at this as a laughing matter. Moreover, for those of you that I know who choose to see humor in such a sad situation, you’ve lost a huge chunk of my respect.

About these ads

4 Comments

Filed under Celebrities, Health & Wellness, I'm Judging You (reviews & criticism), Pay Attention!, Spotlights

4 responses to “Guest Post: Maia’s Descent Is No Laughing Matter

  1. I’ll admit joked about this for a while, but it took a friend of mine calling me to tell me about her being bi-polar and the death of her mother to make to realize how insensitive I was.

    I’m not going to go into everything my friend told me, but basically she said her well known ex-husband took her on a date & basically it just weirded him out.

    But yeah it’s amazing how insensitive we are to celebrities problems as if they aren’t real people.

  2. Bourgie, JD

    Finally watched the vid. Though I wanted to avoid it, I also want to be aware of the contents since I did open the conversation on here.
    I’m not surprised that folks were clowning because that’s what people do. I’m surprised at how many people saw humor in that situation. It was more tragic than anything. What stood out to me the most was the end where she was getting admonished by the car’s driver. She straight up said that she was going to get beaten by the guy and had resigned herself to that outcome. Wow. I heard everyone talking about her cursing, eating chips, looking disheveled… but no one was talking about the possible presence of abuse in her life and her safety. Wild.

  3. Thanks so much for reposting this, sister.

  4. Esq.

    Wow! I hadn’t even heard about this. But apparently losing a parent is a big thing (I fortunately *knock on wood* haven’t had to deal with it) that makes people act in weird ways. Look at Kanye for example. I seriously hope that she gets on a better path, but I doubt the fans will have anything to do with that. It’s the dude that drove off trying to defend his nephew that should’ve been the first to say “this is exploitative and she needs help!” But no… that’s what makes me sad. He needs his butt whupped.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s