Lee Thompson Young's Critics Follow Him In Death [Editorial]

I never met Lee Thompson Young--but I felt as if I knew him. 

We were about the same age and same height (5'8); both of us had what folks called a "baby face." 

But that is where our comparisons end. 

Mr. Young, 29, was found dead Monday morning after not showing up for work. 

Just 15 years earlier, he was a dynamo star of the Disney original series, "The Famous Jett Jackson"-- where he played an actor who tried to live an ordinary life in a fictional North Carolina town. (What made things more fictional was that the show was filmed in Canada.) 

And yet, it appears as if Mr. Young lived anything but a normal life. 

Hollywood is a place where child stars almost always find trouble after their breakout roles come to an end. From Dana Plato to Merlin Santana, there have been some tragic endings to lives that had so much potential. 

And the criticism never ends after they die. 

In fact, that is when "Monday morning quarterbacks" come out of the wood works and talk about what those former child stars should have done. ("They should have gone to church more often," "If I had all of that money, I would never have any problems.") 

In Mr. Young's case, his suspected cause of death--suicide-- is what has the self-ordained "mental health experts" giving their own diagnoses of (and solutions to) his problems. In the comments sections of Young's numerous obituaries, there have been conspiracy theories or harsh expressions of criticism--all of which seem to take precedence to how folks formerly responded to death: by offering condolences to the person's friends and family.

We might not ever know what caused this talented young man to take his own life. But we should always use moments like this to talk about suicide in a responsible and nonjudgmental fashion. Anything else would be a waste of our time. 

My thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Young's family. 


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