In light of the the recent deaths of actresses Carrie Fisher, 60, and Debbie Reynolds, 84, we ask that the media give their family members time to mourn and heal in peace. Carrie Fisher died at 8:55 AM in Los Angeles due to cardiac arrest on December 27, 2016. She will be treasured not only for her iconic role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars trilogy, but as an activist who spoke up about mental illness at a time where discussion was rare, and was outspoken about personal experience with bipolar disorder. Carrie Fisher’s mother, Debbie Reynolds, reportedly passed away the next day (December 28, 2016) from complications of a stroke. Her final words to her son were, “I want to be with Carrie.” Debbie Reynolds also had an influential career, with beloved roles in Singing in the Rain, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Halloweentown.
It is a horrible loss for their remaining family members, Billie Lourd and Todd Fisher, who are often in the spotlight too. Especially during a season meant to be filled with joy, one can only imagine the pain such tragedies have caused these two. Billie Lourd, 24, stars as Chanel No. 3 in the Ryan Murphy comedy series Scream Queens. She is the daughter of Carrie Fisher and shared a tight bond with both her mother and grandmother. She has said her grandmother Debbie Reynolds was a fan of Scream Queens, and was always supportive of her work. Carrie Fisher’s brother Todd Fisher has also done his share of cinematography. While Billie and Todd are no stranger to the media, that should not give media outlets any reason to see it appropriate to disturb them in their time of grieving.
Please protect these family members, they will speak up about the deaths in their own time if they choose, although they do not owe it to any of us. There is no need to bombard them with questions, instead give them support and the space they need to heal. One can not imagine the pain that comes from losing two loved ones so suddenly during the holiday season. Respect their names, respect their legacy, and allow their family members to mourn in privacy. It is a time to celebrates their lives and their works, not to make news out of a family tragedy.