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E! Proposes Re-enactment of Dimebag Darrell’s Murder for “Entertainment” Purposes

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They were arguably the best metal band of the '90s and released some of the most influential albums, Cowboys from Hell and Vulgar Display of Power. Abrasive and brutal, Pantera proved to the faithless that metal was not dead after the atrocity of hair metal in the '80s. The power behind Pantera’s memorable riffs which can be found on songs such as "Cowboys from Hell" and "Walk" was guitarist Dimebag Darrell.

Hailed as one of the best metal guitarists, not only did Dimebag wow the crowds with his talent, but anyone and everyone he ever met remembered his kindness and generosity. After Pantera died, Dimebag and his brother, Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul, started a new band, Damageplan. But in the same year of the release of their debut album, Dimebag was shot to death moments into a Damageplan concert on December 8, 2004.

His death caused a huge wave of grief in the metal community. Fans from all over the world held vigils in memory of their hero. The horrific circumstances involving his death make it difficult for some to forget, especially those who were there at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio. His brother Vinnie was sitting right behind him when it happened. Two of Dimebag’s good friends and part of the road crew were shot, one killed. Fans were shot while trying to help Dimebag.

Does this seem like entertainment? Is it something that you’d like to watch on television? 

According to the E! Networks, yes it is. E! was hoping to do a re-enactment of the murder for a show called 25 Most Chilling Hollywood Murders. A videotape of the actual murders already exists and was seen on the Behind The Music: Pantera episode. If watching that video wasn’t difficult enough, watching a re-enactment would be a lot more painful.

Pantera publicist Janie Hoffman received an email from E! clearances coordinator Beau Thomason, alerting her to the program.  Hoffman, outraged with the idea, sent a reply that didn’t just contain a simple “no,” but launched into a scathing attack on E! in which she asked the staff of E! to imagine themselves witnessing such a horrific event and wondered how they would feel about watching such a program if the person involved was a friend or family member. She requested the email be read to the programming staff.

This entire situation certainly brings into question: what is entertainment? The E! Network seems to  survive on the personal tragedies of celebrities or people in the spotlight. For some reason, this appears to be entertainment. People love to see the “perfect people” in a not so perfect state, or at least this is what E! believes.  It’s what drives them to make shows such as 101 Most Shocking Moments in Entertainment and True Hollywood Story. Quality programming? I think not.

E!, along with celebrity gossip shows such as Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, The Insider and magazines like People, In Touch Weekly, and US Weekly have created some twisted form of celebrity reality. Forms of media like these make money from catching celebrities with their pants down or a finger up their nose. Who’s getting divorced this week? Tune in to find out!

These celebrities that are portrayed on this network are somebody’s friend or family member. They don’t want to see or hear an entertainment network making their friend or family member’s life a show. Hearing about wild behavior or running stories on drug consumption, or other taboo subjects on these networks would be horrible to hear for those people and their families if it weren’t true. Ex-Guns N Roses and current Velvet Revolver guitarist Slash had to call his wife and tell her he wasn’t divorcing her after gossip magazines said otherwise.

There is a huge problem with the Dimebag proposal, aside from this. The show is called 25 Most Shocking Hollywood Murders. Dimebag was as far from Hollywood as someone living in China. Although E! is quick to cover this saying in an email that the show:

“… takes a factual journey through the tragedies that shocked not only Hollywood, but the world."

Well this just about covers it. This just makes the entire situation even sadder. It seems as though they are scraping the barrel of murders to show on television.

Where do you draw the line for celebrity entertainment? Or entertainment at all? Before you know it, they’ll have a reality show with real life murders happening on screen. The kids will gather around the television with mama and papa, a big bowl of popcorn and wait until some unsuspecting young woman is murdered by some man waiting in the bushes. Or a musician being shot in the head on stage, in front of his brother and extended family.

Hoffman certainly let the E! Networks have it. In her long email, Hoffman reaches the simple one worded answer at the end saying: 

"The answer if no, and on behalf of everyone that was there that night and everyone that misses him every day, you can take that no and shove it up your collective asses."

Amen.

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  • Terry G.

    Tv has reenactments of murders all the time, why dont you get angy when it is just the average jane/joe? Why does ‘Dimebag’ and princess Di get special treatment? There should be respect for the dead for all.

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    Most TV reenactments are for the purpose of identifying and catching the killers. In this case, there’s no such non-prurient interest.

    I agree that TV often crosses the line, and we should avoid such crap programming even when the target isn’t famous.

  • http://jessakay.blogspot.com Jessa

    I’m not exactly sure why networks feel as though they are obligated to bring viewers a re-enactment of a murder on television, regardless of whether they are famous or not. Of course it’s uncalled for when it happens to anyone but in this case, the murder of Dimebag was quite horrific. He was on stage, playing with his band and was shot five times in the back of the head in front of his brother, friends and fans. I couldn’t think of anything more horrible. To have that on television as a re-enactment is just pathetic and low. Dimebag’s murder is not entertainment, as well as other murders no matter who it is.

  • triple 7

    ALL I CAN SAY HEARS MY QUESTION AND SUMMERY “BROTHER DIME TOOK TIME FOR EVERY ONE ALL THE TIME; R.I.P. BROTHER DIME BAG DARRELL
    “MY QUESTION— HEY E HOW BOUT LETS SAY IT WAS YOUR SON OR DOUGHTER OR WIFE OR HUSBEND?”
    “MY SUMMERY—-BROTHER DIME WILL ALWAYS RULE!”
    HEY E LISTEN TO THE WORDS
    RE
    SPECT
    WALK
    AND BY NOW YOU KNOW THE REST!”
    TRIPLE 7

  • http://gimps.de Maria making pictures

    This kind of content should not be seen on TV.
    I find TV is trying to make money by using peopley misery.

    Thank you for sharing this story with me !

  • DIMEFAN

    I am truely disgusted! As one of the people who think of Dime everyday, and what a great loss Vin and his family have experienced, this just makes me sick. Why don’t they instead focus on Dimes life and his rise to fame? Anybody who knows anything about his life story can attest to how amazing he truely was. From being banned from guitar contest(for constant winning) to giving guitars to kids because they couldn’t afford them, he was a class act thru and thru. Please don’t make a mockery of such a great individule or belittle his memory…

  • Telly G

    As Joel MacHale from the E! show “The Soup” said all too eloquently: “It’s not A&E, it’s just E!” Do you really think a network who’s entire raison d’etre is the glorification of the celebrity tabloid culture really cares about “sensitivity?” It’s a story and it’s going to be exploited, vile a thought as it is.
    The real poser in this equation is not who would produce something like this, but who would watch and why? Any money says it’ll be gossip-addicted housewives and high-school pop-junkies who have never even listened to metal, let alone had a front-row seat to murder. Dime was a not fodder for the National Enquirer, not a piece of meat to be sold to culture whores. He was a martyr for Metal Almighty. He was our Princess Di. He deserves better.

  • Scott Butki

    I have always thought re-enactments are stupid and
    tasteless and usually poorly done.

    Excellent piece.

    What’s next – a re-enactment of Kurt Cobain’s
    suicide?

  • Heath Hagood

    Dont ever do that dimebag darrell is one man that should be put in history just hear the way the man could play and if yall do that yall no were yall are going tv wants to go to far well let me correct my self E! wants to go to far

  • http://aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa SOMEONE

    FOR ENTERTAINMENT HOW CAN YOU HAVE FUN WATCHING ONE OF THEE BEST GUITAREST GETTING SHOT AND DIEING

  • http://www.myspace.com/darth_dracos666 J. T.

    I, for one, have seen the actual video of Dime being murdered. That video was alot of things, terrifying, disgusting, gut-wrenching to name a few…but there is definitely one thing it was not.
    IT!!!!
    WAS!!!!
    NOT!!!!!
    ENTERTAINING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    nor was it entertaining to see his own father, his brother, his girlfriend, or his closest friends crying so hard that they were hyper-ventalating. I’m not a regular, so could somebody please tell me how to say “no”, I don’t want this etrocity or a re-enactment on “Entertainment Television”?

  • randylrocker1967

    to sad and stupid to even comment on..dimebag was a guitar genious and to have him gone is like loosing a brother!!! i havent saw the video of the murder and dont want to.. a re-enactment would be a mockery and just plain sick..rip dime

  • jim burlingame

    I think it is bulshit we love and miss him and do not think we should have to witness it again!! I have seen it and it was horrorable and brutal we owe it to the man to only watch the gift he gave us!! we do not need to see that gift wiped from this earth forever! why do people enjoy using peoples tragedy for entertainment and profit?!?!? Goddamn vampires!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • realistic

    from all the info i have read, E! never asked for permission to do a re-enactment. they wouldn’t have to. they would need permission to use someone else’s property. so most of the comments about this are completely false. The E! person was asking for a polite denail to appease his/her superiors. Pantera was a legendary band, dime a true genius at guitar… but people should get their stories straight

  • Damageplan101

    man and i thought the painting some dickweed made was bad enough….)= its sad cause its people that want this entertainment thats alows it to be sold )= rip dime

  • kramer

    man! that publicist is an industry whore. i know the parties involved and the coordinator actually called for a denial so the producer would not pursue the idea; instead it appears insane jane used the opportunity to gain some exposure for her fuck up of participating in the VH1 special about dimes murder which i’m sure got her in bad grace with vinnie

  • http://www.mike-hansen.org michael hansen

    video footage of dimebags murder, from multiple sources, is allready avaliable online. it was shown on trutv, narriated by the police officer, with footage from dimebags camera, the clubs security footage, and the officers dashboard camera. this footage also has overdubbed gunshots. people have left comments online stating some of that footage was reinacted. also check out the book…

  • http://www.mike-hansen.org michael hansen

    not one of these comments mentions FACES OF DEATH, TRACES OF DEATH, or DEATH SCENES videos which shows budd dwyer suicide, the hellicopter crash on the twilight zone movie set, or even the blonde woman being interviewed on the news who was shot on camera……. I think if there is a legal loophole that footage got out but the other stuff like the crow & dimebag is not avaliable…you know…not one comment on here notes anything. but years later the john holmes murder and bob crane murder gets into the public………