I met Billy Ray, on the set of “Doc” in Toronto, in 2004. At the end of the gig, I found myself walking past Billy Ray as he was eating dinner.
He looked up and I asked him, “Doing okay?” “Yes,” he replied with smile. “How are you holding in Toronto?” I asked, knowing that he had been in my home town for a while and seeing that he was up to talk. (We Torontonians tend not to get into the face of famous people – unless it is TIFF scene and even then not so much)
He looked rueful. He sighed and he said, “It’s a great town but I really just want to go home.” And I nodded my head in understanding, waved, and left him to his meal.
And years later, as all the goings on in both his and his daughter’s life unfolded on the world stage I just would shrug. In truth, I did not bother to follow the details around BRC. As for Miley, my main criticisms in that whole twerking incident was a) the twerking itself was not well executed – Madonna in her “advanced age” could have done it better and b) Robin “the sleezeball” Thicke? Really?
Anyway, we all make dumb decisions in our youth. And more dumb ones as we age. Unfortunately, in the case of both Billy Ray and Miley, those decisions will be on replay on TMZ forever. At least Billy Ray has stood in support of his daughter when she came out as pansexual. Not too many, including myself, can say the same of their family.
Comedian David Chappelle once said, of those in Hollywood but you could say the same many in the music business and Disney, that “they’re not crazy…they’re strong people. Maybe their environment is a little sick”.
It’s a thin line, my friends. And for some, the ways are not that sunny.