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'Entertainment Tonight' pulls Heath Ledger party video after PR firm applies pressure

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Heathledgervideo_l

Heathledgervideo_l

In response to industry pressures, Entertainment Tonight and The Insider

have pulled a planned segment on the late Heath Ledger, according to

a spokesperson for the shows. Celebrity PR firm ID Public Relations

had released a statement on Wednesday, condemning the Paramount-produced TV

shows for planning a segment that was to feature a video of Ledger allegedly under the influence. IDPR, which has represented

Ledger, contends that ET “purchased [the two-year old video]

for a large sum of money in the hopes of stirring up a salacious and

exploitive story about Heath, which would win them big ratings on the

first day of sweeps.” Reps for ET had no further comment.

addCredit(“Armando Gallo / Retna”)

When contacted by EW.com before ET announced it

would not air the video, ID partner Mara Buxbaum explained via e-mail

that “those who knew Heath know he was a kind-hearted, immensely

talented artist, and a devoted father. He tried to live his life

quietly and with humility. Certain media outlets’ attempts to exploit

and profit from his death is shameful and in the poorest of taste. We

implore the media and the public to let this grieving family bury their

son in private and with dignity.”

In its statement, ID included the e-mail addresses and office numbers of ET

executive producer Linda Bell Blue and Paramount executive Brad Bessey

in an effort to “pressure” the shows to pull the planned segment, which

was due to air tomorrow. Although ID represents a raft of A-list

talent, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Ellen Page, and Ben Stiller, Buxbaum

would not comment on whether that pressure might have also included a

boycott of the show. —Adam B. Vary

When contacted by EW.com before ET announced itwould not air the video, ID partner Mara Buxbaum explained via e-mailthat “those who knew Heath know he was a kind-hearted, immenselytalented artist, and a devoted father. He tried to live his lifequietly and with humility. Certain media outlets’ attempts to exploitand profit from his death is shameful and in the poorest of taste. Weimplore the media and the public to let this grieving family bury theirson in private and with dignity.”

In its statement, ID included the e-mail addresses and office numbers of ETexecutive producer Linda Bell Blue and Paramount executive Brad Besseyin an effort to “pressure” the shows to pull the planned segment, whichwas due to air tomorrow. Although ID represents a raft of A-listtalent, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Ellen Page, and Ben Stiller, Buxbaumwould not comment on whether that pressure might have also included aboycott of the show. —Adam B. Vary