Nick Cannon and Amanda Bynes got their start together on Nickelodeon's variety show All That, but fame has taken them in very different directions since then. Now, amid recent news that Bynes is being detained under an extended, involuntary 5150 psychiatric hold, Cannon is attempting to bridge the gap between them with an emotional open letter, which he posted on Tumblr on Wednesday, July 31.
Calling Bynes his "sister" — "someone I consider family, someone I watched grow up, and someone I genuinely feel is one of the most pleasant human beings I have had the pleasure of meeting" — the 32-year-old America's Got Talent host notes that he is often asked about their friendship in interviews. (Indeed, Howard Stern recently inquired as to whether Cannon had reached out to the 27-year-old starlet. "I tried," he replied.)
Cannon says he usually answers "in a playful humorous manner" or just brushes off the question entirely. "But after recent events of Amanda being admitted under psychiatric care and reported as 5150, I see this as no laughing matter," he writes.
"I tweeted a few weeks [ago] about how the entertainment industry just consumes people and spits them out like flavorless bubblegum. A few chews of enjoyment, then they're under a city bus bench…" he continues. "Don't get me wrong; this is not a pity for the popular statement. I am always the first to say that fame and entertainment is one of the best and easiest occupations to ever have, but one must know how to navigate through the matrix or you may find yourself in a very dark hole."
"Imagine being the breadwinner in your household before you can even drive," he says. "Imagine your parents, teachers, and employers NEVER telling you NO. Anything you ask for or want, the world gives you."
"At some point you are bound to self-destruct. I call this 'access to excess,'" he shares. "It goes back to that old saying: 'Too much of anything is bad for anyone.' Whether it's fame, money, sex, drugs, attention. It's all a dangerous addiction. When there is no balance in your life, a person will always become victim to their reality or lack thereof."
It's worse, he says, for people who feel they don't have a good support system. At times it can feel like everyone is out to get you. "You find yourself alone in that dark hole. Then you have to rely on your own devices once again in this vulnerable state. You become paranoid, frantic, manic, irrational, because you [can't] bounce your thoughts or ideas off of anyone anymore," he explains. "Your reality no longer allows you to reason with the world, so you try to break through to get back to what you think is common ground."
Cannon — married to Mariah Carey, with whom he has two kids — goes on to note that while everyone has problems, dealing with those problems in the spotlight adds extra pressure. "We all sit back and judge these people," he writes. "We say things like, 'I'm glad I'm not famous,' 'Celebrities are crazy,' 'See what fame and money does to people.'…No one on this planet needs to be judged or even has the right to judge."
"We all end up alone in that dark hole at some point in our lives, and if you don't have a foundation of friends and family to help bring you up and out, it makes that journey long and detrimental," he continues. "So I say to my sister Amanda Bynes, you're not alone. I'm here for you. I understand. I care and I appreciate you, because that's what family does and that's what family is for."
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