Thursday, February 23, 2012

Your Turn

National Enquirer cover photo of Whitney Houston in a casket. What do you think?

49 comments:

captivagrl said...

not going to look

Ms Cool said...

Inevitable. Better than a photo of her in the hotel room.

Merlin D. Bear said...

They did the same thing when Elvis died.
Par for the course.
If it'll sell a magazine, print it.

pilly said...

Bad

Mutableblue said...

Grateful that you didn't post it here. thank you!

figgy said...

Horrific.

I agree with @captivagirl--I'm not going to look.

for god's sake, how about a little respect here?

Comma Chaser said...

Is the body even cold yet?

Yikers.

kltx said...

Agree, not looking...And unfortunately celebs and their families may need to be careful of this in the future. Sad though.

Doc Girl said...

Not going to look. Thanks for not posting it on CDAN.

Ms Cool said...

Oh yeah - I also wanted to say that I think the family was in it for the money. I saw the picture and somebody had a bit of time to take the picture. But that is my pure speculation on a gossip site.

cheesegrater15 said...

Agree with Ms. Cool. I, uh, did look, though. The mortician did a good job.

surfer said...

Everyone assumes it was a family member responsible for this (which it could very well be), but it's also possible that it was someone from the funeral home, as the second pic was wide-angled, and seemed to show an empty room. Well, except for Whitney.

ms snarky said...

Despicable.

BigMama said...

I don't care who it is, death photos are horrible.

GSDlover said...

Ditto @ ms snarky.
I saw the photo on another site and I assumed it was a staged pic like the bathroom ones, I had no idea it was real.
Poor Whitney is still being hocked even in death.

Megley said...

The latest is the family asked the funeral home not to comment on the photo, and I'd think that the family would be screaming holy hell if they weren't somehow involved. I didn't go looking for it, but I saw it, and I guess it could've been worse.
The money grab seems to be in full-on mode.
But then again, I'm cynical by nature.

Patty said...

I saw it and she looks good. They did a good job.

I'm on the fence on this. How is it any less disrespectful than standing over her casket in person? Showing her in the hotel or in the morgue would have been way worse.

I think we need to go to motivation on this. I'll call it disrespectful because this was a money shot as opposed to someone who took the picture due to overwhelming grief and an inability to say goodby.

Ms Cool said...

People have open-caskets all the time. As Patty said, how it is any less disrespectful than just looking at it?

The curious will look, those grossed out won't look. Death is a part of life. I don't see what the big deal is. It is a totally different story if it was a morgue or hotel photo, though.

Megley's comment about the funeral home being asked not to comment just reaffirms my belief that the family was in on it.

RenoBlondee said...

I agree with @Ms Cool

surfer said...

The funeral home released a statement (on the LA Times website) saying that they had nothing to do with this, are horrified and feel that it reflects poorly on their business [no kidding]. They also said the family asked them not to speak about this, and they [the family] will release a statement regarding this.

joymama said...

I've seen folks take photos at funerals and I personally don't like it however, I do not believe the photos are ever sold!

My cousin took a cell phone photo of my mom, me and sisters at my dad's interment in June. I asked him to stop because my mom did not like that. A while later at the luncheon he wanted to show me he had deleted the pictures. I told him I didn't need to look, that I trusted he did.

The person who took and sold the shot of Whitney, and I'm not beyond thinking it was a church member, funeral worker or even family member who did it, is indeed dispicable.

bits of moxy said...

When River Phoneix died, the Enquirer (I believe) posted a photo of his dead body in during the viewing - and to be honest - I think seeing it helped me not to do drugs anymore(pretty young - but old enough to really start getting involved). So maybe this will help people to not overdose. (figers crossed) And I agree with above commenters, they did a great job on her.

Janet296 said...

tasteless

nunaurbiz said...

I think open caskets are gruesome anyway. I don't want anyone looking at my dead body. I'm not there! Remember me as I was, not as a body. My mom told us, "When I die, if you have an open casket, I will come back to haunt you!"

When my uncle died, my aunt was newly traumatized because the mortician made him look atrocious and didn't even comb his hair the right way (as they had given them a photo).

If you decide to have an open casket and have mourners gawk at you and you are a celebrity, there is a chance that someone will get a photo.

So?????

I just don't see the fuss.

__-__=__ said...

So we're sure Bobby Brown didn't take it, right?

txtommom said...

Amen!

NikFletcher said...

While she did look really good, since the obvious motivation for this is money I'm going to go with despicable and totally disrespectful. Sure, we've all seen casket shots of dead people but I've always found it really tacky and disrespectful. I agree with several of the others above, this smacks of a game of "How Can I Make A Buck Off Nippy?". I said Nippy because that's what people close to her called her and clearly someone close did this. So odd that the funeral footage was sold so fast, then the funeral home is asked by the family not to speak about the photo...why? Why would you not want anyone to hear them defend themselves?

I'm sad she didn't have people around her that were more about her well being and not her wallet.

mr. ray said...

I just saw it this morning while working... tasteless.

Ms Cool said...

I also want to ask why TMZ has been so silent on this issue. They couldn't wait to publish Michael Jackson death photos. Who is paying TMZ off?

NernersHuman said...

Tacky, but not shocking. Some people will do anything for cash.

I have to admit though, when I read that she was in the casket with 500 grand worth of jewelry, I wondered if they took them off before they put her in the ground. Cause I mean, that's 500 grand, people.

Anonymous said...

Had to look. She looked good, albeit dead.

The thing that bothers me about this sort of thing - I think about the little kids going grocery shopping with Mom and/or Dad, and seeing the picture right up there by the checkout stand. I wouldn't want to have to answer their questions.

Should not have been on the front page. If they want to publish it, put it inside.

Dead people photos creep me out anyway, which is why I am opting for cremation.

Tempestuous Grape said...

I don't. TV programs do re-enactments scenes/photos all the time. Nat Enq is trash that no one reads anyway.

Princess said...

The whole controversy is ridiculous. So it's perfectly okay to go to an actual funeral/viewing in real life and see a body laying there in the casket in person, but take a photograph of it and everyone gasps? What is it that makes it different? That she was famous? That you don't personally know who took the photo? I don't get it. Might be tacky, but it *is* the National Enquirer we're talking about here.
It's just asinine. Look if you want, don't look if you don't want.

Princess said...

Oh and she looked great in the casket too. They really did a lovely job.

weezy said...

I don't think it was an employee. Mrs. Wigham (the funeral director) strikes me as a tough broad -- and that's a small business community, even smaller for morticians serving the black community. Not a good idea to anger her, IMO. Odd the area in front of the casket was so empty; there are usually people standing around at a visitation. Cleaning contractor, maybe?

iheartjacksparrow said...

I also don't see what the controversy is. It's not like she was hacked up like a Jason or Freddy victim. And post-mortem photos used to be really popular (I found that out from watching "The Others"). Since the family is okay with it (as it seems they were behind the "leak"), then it shouldn't be a big deal.

auntliddy said...

So its okay to dress up a dead body, put makeup on it, have people in to see the body, but not ok to photograph it? Having said that, it is tacky to the max, but hey it the Enquirer, what did anyone expect?

Anonymous said...

This is why I refuse to spend money buying these f*ing rags.

Del Riser said...

My husband died when he was twenty two, I was twenty. So, a long while ago. The funeral home took pictures, from the door. The mistake was in not letting me know ahead of time what I was opening when they were mailed to me.

People go to a viewing and pay their respects. Fine. To publish photos in a rag, is unseemly and somewhat ghoulish.

GoGo said...

I remembre River Phoenix's photo, too, bits of moxy. I didn't want to look, but couldn't help myself. It made me sad -- it didn't look like I remembred RP (he had had his hair dyed for that vampire movie, I think).
I didn't look at Whitney's pic and probably won't (pics don't appear when I read CDAN -- dialup). Did Enty post the pic? He must have as I do not see any link...

jax said...

Christ you could see where they sewed up his lips and eyes on the River Pheonix one! I was traumatized for days on that.

Maja With a J said...

There are websites dedicated to pictures of dead celebrities, and non celebrities as well. Not just casket pictures. Morgue pictures, crime scene pictures...people are just fascinated with death. Call it tasteless, but I think it's a way for some to deal with something they don't fully understand or that they are afraid of.

Robin the Mad Photographer said...

I'm not surprised someone took a picture, or that the Enquirer ran it, but I do wish they'd put their death photo inside, not right on the cover where you have to see it while standing in line w/a gallon of milk and a 4-pack of TP at Market Basket.

I spend time on another forum where death, especially a celebrity's, is a big topic of conversation, but while reading about people can be fascinating (because hey, I'm a nosy little f*cker and find people endlessly fascinating), I really don't need to see them dead and laid out. And yes, I hear River Phoenix looked dreadful in his casket photo; apparently the mortician did a piss-poor job with the embalming, the body prep, and the makeup, to the extent that it would have been better to just slam the casket lid shut.

(There was an ongoing thread at the other forum which involved a former mortician discussing what her job involved and why things are done certain ways, with an eye to helping people understand and deal with these situations when they come up--it was really quite fascinating, and while some of the terminology of the trade is a bit wonky--"memory picture," anyone?--I can understand how taking good care of someone's deceased loved one and making them look really spiffy one last time can help a lot of people process the death and cope with it better, and seeing them looking peaceful instead of sick, mangled, etc. can be very comforting.)

surfer said...

Del - I'm so sorry for what you went through, and at such a young age.

Robin, your post was very interesting, especially about how they prepare a body.

When my mother died, we were in the "family room" an hour prior to the funeral. The coffin was closed. I needed to see my mother because I had this horrible fear that it might not be her in there. I was shocked by her appearance - they had applied so much make-up - I guess because in her last hours she had become quite jaundiced, so they did their best to cover up the discoloration. But then my sister noticed something on my mother's lips, which she tried to wipe away with a kleenex, but it wouldn't come off. Turns out it was a stitch. We were horrified.

And knowing my mother, she would have been really upset about this as well.

I apologize if my sharing this has upset anyone.

lutefisk said...

Just because someone offered the Enquirer the photo doesn't mean they had to run it.
I do believe it was someone in the family. It seems to be all about getting money for Bobbi Kristina.

Cheap and Pretty said...

Totally the family. Read on another site that Cissy sold the funeral footage for the Bobbi Kristina fund. In a bizarre way I kind of respect Cissy for acting like a mother lion when it comes to her granddaughter. I think she sees what kind of future BK has in front of her and it scares her, and she's determined not to let her end up like Whitney.

Oh, and I wondered the same thing about the jewelry. If she was truly broke, then surely, SURELY they had the good sense to take it off and put it away for BK.

Robin the Mad Photographer said...

So yesterday I was indeed in Market Basket w/the gallon of milk & 4-pack of TP, spotted the Enquirer on the rack in one of the checkout lines, and of course headed for that one. When I got there, the woman ahead of me was looking at as well, and when I commented that Whitney looked really good, even though she's, well, dead, she sighed and said "Yeah, I swore I wasn't going to look at this, but here I am!" and agreed on the looking-good bit. And yes, here's hoping that they took the damn jewelry off before sealing the casket, lest we have a repeat of Altovise Davis digging up Sammy a couple of years after he croaked to get the hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of jewelry off his dead body. (Word to the wise: don't bury people w/anything that you might even remotely want back at some point, esp. jewelry or the only copy of your poetry--Google "Dante Gabriel Rossetti" and "Elizabeth Siddal" for the dirt on THAT one. Burying someone with, say, their wedding ring that they wore every day is one thing, but I'd say keep the rest of the jewelry above ground where the family and friends could actually enjoy it, OK?)

mygeorgie said...

We're a crazy lot us humans in dealing with death! A client of mine has a business whereby she 'manages the death of our beloved pets'. Her care involves the same scope we see with funeral directors, without the embalming. She cleans them up, bundles them up in a blanket, takes a photo, an imprint of their foot/paw & individually cremates your critter. She says the photo & footprint really help people in their healing, so I get why a photo is freaky to some, but comforting to others.

btw, tip from my client: "If a crematorium for pets will not let you witness your pet being cremated, they are definatley mass cremating & sending you back with a cornucopia of ashes"

Lelaina Pierce said...

@mygeorgie, that is horrifying. I definitely plan on having mine cremated, so good to know!

I don't do open caskets. I know it's supposed to help with closure, but I've always felt I'd never remember the person the same way. No way I'd ever believe the funeral home had anything to do with this. It's gotta be the family and yes, it's disgusting.

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