In 1980, Shelley Duvall starred in director Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, The Shining. Her other considerable achievements include Time Bandits, Popeye, and Faerie Tale Theatre. Fans have wondered about her whereabouts over the years, as she has not acted in over 14 years.
Unfortunately, a commercial for Dr. Phil began airing yesterday which lures viewers in with an exploitative look at Duvall’s current difficulties. After presenting anecdotes that reveal that Duvall is struggling with mental illness, she says that she needs help, and “the good doctor” states that he’s going to help her. But if he really wanted to help her, he wouldn’t be waving her in front of a television camera in an attempt to boost ratings.
I struggled with the idea of running a story about this because I don’t feel that someone’s mental health is news and I didn’t like the fact that an article could potentially draw more viewers to this disgusting episode. However, some good news related to this story has come along to restore our faith in humanity.
Vivian Kubrick is the daughter of the late Stanley Kubrick. She spent time on several of his sets (behind and in front of the camera), and she directed the making of documentary, Making The Shining, which features numerous behind the scenes footage of all of the people involved in the making of the film. She has penned the following letter to Dr. Phil, which was posted to Twitter:
Unfortunately, the entertainment industry is exploitative in nature, and it wouldn’t be airing this kind of garbage if people wouldn’t watch it. If you’re a fan of The Shining, if you’re a fan of Duvall’s work, if you’re a fan of Kubrick’s work, hell, if you’re a fan of basic human decency… do not watch this episode! Between horror conventions, documentaries, and basic fandom, the horror community has been good about respecting the actors and filmmakers who helped shape the genre. The best way the horror community can respond to this outrage is to ignore it. Don’t give this moustached monster the ratings he craves and maybe he’ll think twice the next time an idea like this comes up in the writers’ room.