At the Screen Actors Guild Awards last night, Michael Keaton gave a moving eulogy for his late nephew Michael Scichilone, who passed away from a fentanyl overdose.
Keaton, 70, won the Oscar for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor for his work in the terrifying Hulu miniseries Dopesick, which depicts America’s opioid crisis. Given the topic, he said, “This is for my sister Pam and my nephew Michael.”.
Of Mount. Michael Scichilone. He was only 34 when he overdosed on opiates in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. He had ‘tried’ to stop his habit for years. Pamela Douglas, the elder sister of Keaton, had a son named Michael Douglas, who was 72 years old.
His passing made Keaton’s part in the TV show Dopesick more tragic. He portrays a rural physician who is duped by Purdue Pharma’s dishonest marketing and business strategies before giving in to his OxyContin addiction.
When reading the script, there were times when Keaton felt like, “Jeez, this is Michael’s story,” and he decided to play the part as a way to fight the opioid epidemic and hold those responsible—particularly the Sackler family, which owns Purdue Pharmaceuticals—responsible.
On social media, Scichilone’s family and friends posted heartfelt tributes to him, calling him a beloved son, brother, and uncle who was “fiercely missed” and had a strong personality. Scichilone only managed to kick his drug habit for a few weeks before succumbing to addiction.
In an Instagram post from October 2017, Michael’s younger sister Emily stated, “on this day last year, Michael was in rehab trying to “get better.”. He deserves better from us. Be kind to one another. Before them turning to drugs, let’s assist those in need.
The length of Scichilone’s battle with addiction is unknown, but he eventually graduated from a high school in Mount Lebanon. Additionally, it’s not believed that he earned a college degree.
According to his obituary, he was “a fiercely loyal friend, an amazing son, and an avid sports lover.”.
Scichilone, like his well-known uncle, started as a stand-up comic and is renowned for his “sense of humor” and capacity to make “any kid that had the privilege of being around him” smile.
Keaton forms a new, even more, tragic bond with his nephew through the movie Dopesick. Like countless other Americans, the actor’s nephew battled substance abuse until it claimed his life. His family and the actor are now inspired to fight against opiate abuse in the US, both on and off-screen.
Keaton claimed he was motivated to work on the project because, in particular, the Sackler family, who own Purdue Pharma, he finds “pleasure in holding those people accountable for the victims of this opioid catastrophe.”. Keaton was also one of the show’s executive producers.
He asserts that when you have an addiction, “you become eaten by the addiction.”. Your soul is exhausted by it. Extremely remarkable people are destroyed by it. “.
The “KICK IT For Mike” charity was established by Scichilone’s family to promote awareness through instruction.
His two sisters Meghan, a real estate agent in Mount Lebanon, and Emily, a cosmetics artist who now resides in Chicago, run the organisation alongside his mother, Pamela, who still lives in Pittsburgh (not far from where she, Keaton, and the rest of the Douglas family grew up).
Numerous photos on their social media pages show Scichilone as a content youngster who enjoys dressing up, playing in the mud, swimming in the pool, and having fun with his famous uncle. Later in life, Scichilone can be seen attending his older sister Meghan’s wedding, going to prom, and posing with his “buddies.”. “.
On the “KICK IT For Mike” charity page video, Scichilone’s nephew can be heard chatting while watching sports. I miss Michael for various reasons, but nothing makes me miss him more than when Cash talks about sports and claims a sweet message. I wished he could research the draft with this new sports fan.
Although there is no information about Scichilone’s addiction, comments on the Facebook page “KICK IT FOR Mike” criticise the Sackler family, the proprietors of Purdue Pharma, and the business that produces the well-known drug OxyContin.
The Sackler Family’s Plan to Keep Their Billions was the title of one caption that included a link to the New Yorker article. “.
The word “disgusting” has been written over another repost of a Washington Post article about Walgreens giving out “one out of every five oxycodone and hydrocodone pills” during the ongoing opioid crisis.
Another Instagram video called “Five Important Safety Tips Every Parent Should Know” alerts parents to the risks associated with prescription and over-the-counter medications.
Over 79,000 deaths in that age range will be caused by synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, OxyContin, oxycodone, and heroin between 2020 and 2021, making them the nation’s number one killer.
Dopesick explores the opioid crisis from the viewpoints of users, medical professionals, and law enforcement officials attempting to hold Purdue Pharma responsible for dispatching an army of salespeople nationwide to persuade physicians to prescribe OxyContin instead alternative therapies. The strategy would make the Sackler family one of the richest in America.
The Hulu series demonstrates how users of the dangerously addictive prescription painkiller crush the pills into a powder before moving on to more potent drugs like heroin and fentanyl to sate their cravings.
For Michael Keaton, reflecting and acknowledging that “At least I achieved something that maybe meant something to someone” was necessary.
Dopesick is intensely personal to him on many levels. The opioid epidemic has severely affected his native Pennsylvania, and he tragically lost his nephew to addiction. At least ten people overdosed and passed away every day in 2017.
He considered why he had chosen this position, “I don’t believe I have an obligation, but you wouldn’t want to leave the world thinking, “I could have been a mensch.”. Maybe I changed someone’s mind.