You've probably already heard: Amanda Bynes was arrested on Sunday morning for driving under the influence around 3 AM, as confirmed by the California Highway Patrol. It's sad news, considering the positive trajectory that Bynes has been on. And the media is certainly not in her corner today—reports of Bynes' DUI are tinged with a certain meanness that is totally unnecessary.
This is not to say that Bynes' sentence should be reduced because of her celebrity status, but the reporting of her DUI has a tone of "We were waiting for it and it finally happened." TMZ broke the news, and true to their ruthlessness, said: "Amanda has had trouble with mental problems for years now. Her parents had a conservatorship which ended earlier this month and as one source says, "Things started going haywire." We're told Amanda has moved out of her parents home and is now living in an Orange County apartment. We're told she has been smoking weed for weeks and things are bad again." You'd expect this kind of crass click-baiting from TMZ, as they're equally harsh on any and all celebrities when taking them to task, but denigrating Bynes for her mental problems is a line crossed.
The Daily Beast was no better — perhaps they were even worse. Kevin Fallon took unabashed glee in Bynes' problems: "But like a former child star Godzilla raring to lay waste to the carefully rebuilt structure in her life—or, less metaphorically, like an addict—Bynes just went and wrecked it all again," and called her issues with mental illness "crazed." He admits openly that whether or not the "Bynes train wreck" is back, we'll all be watching. Bynes suffered at the hands of public humiliation and utter voyeurism before, and tried to distance herself quietly; now, it seems like that might become a reality for her again, which is so unfortunate.
The New York Daily News began their report with this judgmental lede: "Amanda Bynes has veered off the rails again." All these outlets take a faux sympathetic tone, lamenting that she broke a streak of good behavior, but it's clear from the language being used here that there's a sense of glee and victory in the reports: we told you she'd screw up again. What gets me most is the continual mention of Bynes' mental illness and the mocking language that surrounds it. Dealing with a mental illness is hard enough for anyone, but to have to do so under the public eye seems a feat unsurmountable. Regardless of Bynes dangerous drunk driving (for which I do think she should be adequately sentenced), her personal issues with her mental illness should not be used to humiliate her.