Sunday, August 27, 2017
WHITNEY--CAN I BE ME? DOCUMENTARY
I LOVED WHITNEY HOUSTON,
JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE
The new documentary on Showtime all this week, was directed by the talented Nick Broomfield. It is hard to watch because once again we have to go through the tragic story and have our hearts ripped out. BUT, YOU MUST WATCH. It helped me understand her pain and made me feel better she wasn't suffering anymore.
It's brilliant, because it shows unseen footage of the "real" Whitney, a drug-user from the hood who knew how to put on a different face and conquer Hollywood. But, it was the lies---about her relationship with Robyn Crawford, the only stabilizing influence in her life; the lie of hiding her true roots; having a mother who drove her mercilessly and controlled her with an iron fist; the obligation of being the sole support of family hangers-on; and her father grabbing for money.
Bobby Brown was a horrible influence, but she was on drugs before she ever met him. What he did for her was treat her with dispect/ghetto behavior, that was familiar to her because she had low self esteem and thought that was what she deserved. It was too late, really, ut she did have the courage to leave him.
I met Whitney back stage at her first Grammys, and she was lovely. I saw a number of her concerts. Regarding her self-esteem, I once saw her at a big charity event in Hollywood, attended by lots of stars. She was the entertainment, and it was the week that "I Will Always Love You" broke big. She did her show and was incredible. They typical Hollywood charity audience was polite, but didn't really clap hard enough after the last song to warrant an encore. Whitney looked at them and said, "Don't you want to hear 'I Will Always Love You?" Of course they were enthusiastic.
The next day I receive a call from someone connected to the event telling me that Whitney's father called her because Whitney was worried and feeling bad that the audience might not have liked her. I was asked to write something fantastic about Whitney and the show in my column so her father could show it to her and make her feel good.
I was honored to do it; felt sad that Whitney was concerned; and was very happy to make her happy. That's how I experienced her insecurity first hand.
"Can I Be Me?," the title of the documentary, is a question Whitney asked many times in private or to her handlers. How sad that she had to die to achieve it. Thank God she and her similarly, tragically-doomed daughter are together in peace.