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How Not to Respond to the Death of Amy Winehouse

Posted on the 27 July 2011 by Periscope @periscopepost
How not to respond to the death of Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse, Hovefestivalen 2007. Foto: Kim Erlandsen, NRK P3, http://www.flickr.com/photos/nrk-p3/2325404812/

Reactions to the tragic death of Amy Winehouse have been flooding in all week. Fans of the troubled singer have gathered outside her Camden home to pay their respects and a flood of celebrities have taken to micro-blogging site Twitter to share their memories and condolences. However, not all responses to the death of Winehouse, who battled drink and drug addictions for years, have been in entirely in the best taste. In fact, some have been flat-out tasteless.

Public relations representatives have been slammed hard for looking to ‘cash in’ on the singer’s death, which, alongside the Norway massacre, has dominated the news headlines all week.

How not to respond to the death of Amy Winehouse

Photo Credit: Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

  • Stay classy, Microsoft. Tech writer Stuart Houghton flagged up some downright opportunist behaviour by Microsoft’s PR department: “Stay classy, Microsoft PR jackals RT @tweetbox360: Remember Amy Winehouse by downloading the ground-breaking ‘Back to Black’ over at Zune.” Cnet.com flagged up how Microsoft responded to the criticism via Twitter: “Apologies to everyone if our earlier Amy Winehouse ‘download’ tweet seemed purely commercially motivated. Far from the case, we assure you.”
  • America’s worst PR man. It’s not just UK PRs who have been accused of insensitivity. Gawker slammed “incompetent superflack Ronn [sic] Torossian,” who they dubbed “America’s worst PR man” over his blog posting which referred to Winehouse as a “dope head.” “I woke up Sunday morning to see that more people on Facebook had mourned the death of one dope head than the 94 innocent people who were slaughtered in Norway. It’s a sad commentary, yet it is our reality today where media and the masses are overly obsessed by celebrity,” lamented Torossian.
  • Congressman ‘addiction’ boo-boo. Congressman Billy Long has also come under fire for an insensitive debt ceiling-meets-Winehouse tweet: “No one could reach #AmyWinehouse before it was too late. Can anyone reach Washington before it’s too late? Both addicted – same fate???” Jezebel flagged up Long’s subsequent apology but asked, “Someone needs to make a PSA to inform people that using troubling current events to promote your unrelated political cause, clothing line, or article on blowjobs is never a good idea.”
  • “Too soon, too soon!” was how The Daily Mail responded to rapper M.I.A’s decision to release an unfinished demo called ’27′ in tribute to Amy Winehouse (who died aged 27) just 48 hours after her death. M.I.A’s release has “been seen (by fans) as not only being too soon after the singer’s death, but in very bad taste as well. Because the lyrics of the song refer to a drug and alcohol addict who died at 27,” reported the paper. The track can be listened to here

More on Amy Winehouse and addiction

  • Fans, world mourn Amy Winehouse’s death at 27
  • Amy Winehouse investigated for rant during children’s pantomime
  • Legalise heroine, says Labour MP
  • Alcohol more harmful than heroine, say researchers; heroine addict disagrees

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