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Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos talks mental illness in Hollywood

February 25th, 2013


It might not be Bell Let’s Talk Day, but that doesn’t mean the discussion is over. Take Passion Pit’s front man Michael Angelakos who has struggled with bipolar disorder and issues with mental health in the past. With the whole Oscar buzz surrounding Silver Linings Playbook, Michael tweeted out his thoughts regarding the movie’s portrayal of mental health. Michael tweeted out, “Cheap use of mental health as legs for plot. ā€œ@lfitzmaurice: To be perfectly clear: did not like Silver Linings Playbook very much at allā€” and addressed one response by tweeting, “So? ā€œ@MEH957: @mangelakos you do know that David O’Russell has a son who’s bipolar, right? #silverliningsplaybook””

Michael’s main thesis was that Hollywood misappropriates the portrayal of mental illness for added effect stating, “It’s very much in right now — in Hollywood, mind you — to use mental illness as a way to bring added or almost entirely all drama to piece”. Michael then posited that, “Be it TV or film, it’s lazy and usually, perhaps inadvertently, regressive. That being said, it has to exist in some capacity for discussion”. Michael then furthered his point by tweeting, “Lets allow Hollywood to dramatize so there can be backlash/discussion. See, insurance companies barely recognize mental illness as health”.

Though it doesn’t mean that Hollywood shouldn’t include the theme of mental health in films, I think Michael’s point was that people are complex and that mental illness shouldn’t be a way to blanket a whole, especially for entertainment purposes. Michael conceded and tweeted, “Well, great to see people care about the issue. We still have a long way to go. Have a lovely day and give someone a hug.” And then he ended with, “Okay, really. The director, cast, and intention all great. Depiction of mental health questionable. That’s it.”

What do you guys think? Tell us in the comments section below and check out our Bell Let’s Talk Day site for more ways to keep the conversation going.

Passion Pit, Carried Away


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