I sent the following response to Lorne Michaels of Saturday Night Live after they aired a “commercial” for “Heroin AM”. Should you be so inclined his e-mail address is below.
Dear Mr. Michaels:
The young man pictured below is my son, William. He might have found your Heroin AM "advertisement" funny. We'll never know. Unfortunately, he was not alive last night to view SNL. This picture was taken on October 20th, 2012. It was taken four days after his insurance company, Emblem Health and their utilization review provider, ValueOptions denied him the in-patient detoxification services he requested. THERE'S SOME COMIC MATERIAL FOR YOU! He accidentally overdosed and spent the next six weeks hospitalized before we made our decision to remove him from life support, because he would spend the rest of his life in a persistent vegetative state. THERE'S SOME COMIC MATERIAL FOR YOU! Like thousands of other grieving parents his mother and I have had to cope with the loss of our son. THERE'S SOME COMIC MATERIAL FOR YOU! As advocates in the fight against substance use disorder, his mother and I have spoken to two Congressional committees, a U. S. Senate Forum on Addiction, and at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. THERE'S SOME COMIC MATERIAL FOR YOU! You can go here to watch what we had to say at the Senate Forum. It's had just above 5,400 views. http://bit.ly/1zgE7O3 MAYBE THERE WILL BE USEFUL COMIC MATERIAL FOR YOU THERE. Not the SIZE audience SNL gets, I grant you, but we're working on it.
While we work on increasing the awareness of our audience to the heroin and opioid epidemic that confronts this country; while we alert our audience to the fact that opioids and heroin kill 129 people daily - more than die in automobile accidents; while we remind people that nearly 10% of the population at large (including your staff, your performers, and your audience) has had, has, or will suffer from substance use disorder; we promise to do our best to diminish your audience. MAYBE THERE WILL BE USEFUL COMIC MATERIAL FOR YOU IN THAT!! I'm sure your advertisers will see the humor in it!
We will do our best to encourage the 23 million people in long term recovery to boycott both your show, your advertisers, and your network. We will do our best to encourage the 23 million people currently suffering from substance use disorder to boycott your show, your advertisers, and your network. We will do our best to encourage the millions of family members affected by this disease to boycott your show, your advertisers, and your network. YOU CAN CHUCKLE ABOUT THAT. We're not.
Consider my television permanently turned off to your show. Kindly inform your sponsors I will no longer be purchasing their products. Know that I WILL be encouraging anyone I can reach to do the same. When we say WILL at our house we remember a lost boy named Will and we take action. Unless, of course, you try some new material and air an apology. Allow me to suggest a sincere and well thought out public service announcement. Perhaps something your network could air. Should you do so, let me know. I'll be happy to watch.
Feel free to share your thoughts with Mr. Michaels at: firstname.lastname@example.org