On Bruce Willis, 'a Health Line Seems to Have Been Crossed'

Joe Ferullo writes for the Hill that Hollywood 'needs to do better' after reveal of actor's aphasia
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2022 1:00 PM CDT
In Wake of Willis News, Hollywood 'Needs to Do Better'
Bruce Willis attends a movie premiere in New York on Oct. 11, 2019.   (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – Over the past couple of years, Bruce Willis acted in more than a dozen films. It's a fact that, in the wake of his family's disclosure of his aphasia—a brain condition that can lead to language and communication issues—has many now wondering what exactly was going on with Willis during that time, and if the people around him may have exploited that. What Joe Ferullo believes took place: "At a certain point ... if reports are correct, a health line seems to have been crossed." Writing for the Hill, Ferullo notes that most of the films the Die Hard star appeared in during this time period were low-budget action movies or thrillers, in which producers desperately need a big name to attach to promotional collateral so they can attract investors in overseas markets.

In Willis' case, that need may have been mutual, Ferullo notes, writing that "there may have been a sincere effort on the part of his agents and managers to keep him busy and engaged, as a way to delay the worst of what his disease would eventually bring." Still, it seems the focus remained keeping "the gigs—and the money—coming." Now that the 67-year-old actor's condition is out in the open, Ferullo says it's time to assess why and how this happened to a man dealing with such a malady. "Hollywood will have to examine its role in all this—and maybe examine the whole movie-making eco-system," he writes. Hollywood "needs to do better." Read Ferullo's op-ed in full here. (Read more Bruce Willis stories.)

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