Are Billie Lourd’s Comments About Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds Offensive?

Posted by Jeanne on August 2, 2017

It must have been really traumatic for Billie Lourd when her mother, Carrie Fisher, and grandmother, Debbie Reynolds, died just a day apart. It was also tough, according to Lourd, to grow up in each of these women’s shadows and she’s embracing the opportunity to stand on her own two feet.

Billie Lourd

Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images for Disney

 

“I’ve always kind of lived in their shadows, and now is the first time in my life when I get to own my life and stand on my own,” Lourd, 25, said in an interview appearing in the September issue of Town & Country. “I love being my mother’s daughter, and it’s something I always will be, but now I get to be just Billie. It’s a lot of pressure, because she had such an incredible legacy, and now I have to uphold that and make it evolve in my own way.”

The budding star explained that, after appearing in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, her mother pushed her to work more in the industry. “[On set] my mother would pull me aside and be like, ‘It’s weird that you’re so comfortable here. This is the most uncomfortable environment in the world. If you’re comfortable here, you should do this,’” she said. Now Lourd has had a role on the television show Scream Queens and will also be showcased in the upcoming season of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story.

She did say that Fisher’s sense of humor helped her get through those rough early days after her family suffered such unimaginable losses. “If life’s not funny, then it’s just true – and that would be unacceptable,” Lourd said. “Even when she [Fisher] died, that was what got me through that whole thing. When Debbie died the next day, I could just picture her saying, ‘Well, she’s upstaging me once again, of course – she had to.’”

It has since been reported that, when she died, Fisher, who had battled with addiction for years, had drugs in her system. Lourd says that her mom would “want her death to encourage people to be open about their struggles. Tons of people grow up with mentally ill parents who have drug problems… It’s such a common thing, and people really don’t talk about it. It ultimately helped so many more people.”

Much has been made of Lourd’s comments about finally being able to just be Billie and not someone’s daughter or granddaughter. Some of the comments on the original story have said things like “well, you wouldn’t be appearing in movies or being interviewed if you hadn’t been Carrie Fisher’s daughter.” Which is, of course, true. The only fair thing to say is that none of us have ever lived that life and we have to give her the benefit of the doubt. Clearly, she’s new at having every word dissected by the media and obviously loved her mother.

Let’s just offer our condolences and wish her the best!

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