Celebrities Pass Away, But Does The Public Really Care?
April 21 saw doves cry and hearts broken all over as the news struck of two well-known celebrities hit the media that afternoon. Earlier that day, publications announced the untimely passing of former professional wrestler and actor Chyna, found in her Redondo Beach, California home the day before at the young age of 46. As the news spread and everyone expressed their condolences online, the nation received another blow to the chest by the news of legendary artist Prince, who passed untimely at the age of 57.
Almost immediately, radio waves played endless hours of his music, social media blew up with tribute graphics for Chyna and Prince, and everyone gave their eulogies online about how these individuals impacted their life. This has been the norm for anyone that passes at an age too young. It happened with celebrities such as Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Ultimate Warrior, Dusty Rhodes and many more. However, the real question is (especially in Chyna’s instance): how much of the sadness is truly from the heart?
— sunsetinyello (@sunsentinello) April 21, 2016
Many people were shocked when World Wrestling Entertainment jumped abroad and paid homage to the woman known as the Ninth Wonder of the World during the prime of her career. Even her ex-fiancee, Paul Levesque, the Chief Operating Officer of the company who is professionally known as Triple H, sent out his thoughts of her passing as though she was one of the greats in the business. However, one year ago, that same sentiment did not come from him when he talked about her regarding her possible induction in the WWE Hall of Fame during Stone Cold Steve Austin’s podcast.
— Karen Catizone (@Mugsysam) April 21, 2016
His wife, Stephanie McMahon, even went along the lines of posting a tweet herself, stating “I just heard the tragic news that @ChynaJoanLaurer has passed. She was truly a pioneer in our industry, and she will be missed.”
— Stephanie McMahon (@StephMcMahon) April 21, 2016
This, however, fell on deaf ears and in a way backfired as many attacked her for even saying something when she was the main one that was a part of Chyna’s slow demise in her career and eventually her life.
Chyna has been regarded as a legend and future Hall of Famer by many and many women declaring her as an inspiration growing up, but looking at the same social media sources a year prior to her passing – even weeks before her passing – the sentiment was a different story.
A year ago, when Chyna reemerged into the media through social media networks, she uploaded videos to her fans to keep in touch with them while she was on her personal exile from the United States. TMZ, known for bringing celebrities up and down in their tabloids, shared the story and caused a negative uproar of comments towards the former pro wrestler, who was simply having fun in the video. This was shortly after her podcast with famed wrestling promotor Vince Russo in response to Triple H’s comments on Stone Cold’s podcast on the WWE Network. Recently, a promotor for WrestleCon sent out a public letter attacking Chyna and apologizing to the public about her missed appearance at the convention and went into detail about the situation, which brought further backlash towards the troubled celebrity. Many media publications, especially online, have repeatedly stated the same statements about her throughout the 10 years that she has been away from the WWE. Ultimately, it did nothing but leave the world to hear the inevitable.
The world will remember Chyna for being a revolutionary wrestler and one of a kind in the industry. She was truly a legend and an icon in her own right. However, if the same statements all over the internet were said to her while she was alive, she may just still be here today.