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Dennis Papke, Fargo, Published February 22 2014

Letter: Hollywood must be responsible

The NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and Olympics all use drug testing as a way to control drug abuse and to help encourage athletes to seek help to end drug use if they want to participate in one of these high-paying professions. When are the Screen Actors Guild and Motion Picture Association going to step up and take responsibility for the conduct of their “high-paid professionals”? When will The Recording Academy, The Grammy Foundation or Music Cares step up? How many more actors, actresses or musicians have to die before Hollywood starts taking serious action against drug users?

With the outrageous amount of money these actors, actresses and musicians make and the pressure they are under, why doesn’t Hollywood and these different organizations adopt a similar drug abuse policy that professional sports have? When will they require drug tests annually to be a member of the Hollywood elite and random drug tests through the year as part of the program? When will they require drug tests to sign a contract for a leading role or leading support role? When will recording labels require a drug test to release a new CD?

I don’t think this latest Hollywood death came as a surprise to many in the industry. More than likely, many of the people close to Philip Seymour Hoffman saw his renewed drug use and chose to look the other way because all they wanted to see were the dollars that his latest work was raking in for the studios.

I think it is time Hollywood and all the organizations that employ actors, actresses and musicians step up and take responsibility for the abuse that is happening within their profession.