Do you ever feel crummy about something and then something else happens that is crummier and suddenly you don’t feel as bad?
You might recall last week my personal dilemma about reporting on Whitney Houston’s death so extensively that it seemed exploitive. I mentioned a situation where a supposed fan scored some great pictures at Houston’s memorial and immediately ran to a tabloid to sell the images.
Darned if two days later the story didn’t get weird (or weirder). The Houston estate asked broadcasters to pull funeral footage in an attempt to license it to various media outlets.
You read that correctly. The family is selling the rights to the ceremony that was broadcast around the world. It makes sense now why only one camera was permitted and all outlets had to tap into the one video feed.
The reason for the move: “help maximize the estate for the benefit of Bobbi Kristina,” Houston’s daughter.
Let’s also recap what happened since Houston’s death: her music and albums have topped the iTunes download charts; her album Whitney: The Greatest Hits is still number 1 on the Billboard charts; her self-titled album sits in the number 5 position.
What does all this mean? If you can’t hear the cash registers going ka-ching, we’ve got a problem.
While I won’t deny the loss of a parent is tough on a teenager, is the proper support – for a child who reportedly has substance abuse problems herself – giving her millions and millions of dollars?
All the while I was concerned about profiting from someone’s death because I talked about it over and over again. Her own family is selling funeral footage as though that’s the only means of financial support for Houston’s daughter.
I don’t normally claim to be better than people but even I sense a greediness about what the Houston family is doing. Last weekend I had a debate with a reader who said this wouldn’t turn into a spectacle like the Michael Jackson death. I literally burst out laughing. Of course it will – it has already started.
And for someone who led such a dramatic life, maybe we shouldn’t expect anything less in Houston’s death. To me, it’s sad. But money makes the world go around, I guess.