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Letters to the Editor: Stop the gossip on Bruce Willis’ decline. Let him have his dignity

A portrait of Bruce Willis in 2019.
Bruce Willis, seen in Shanghai, China, in 2019, retired from acting after receiving a diagnosis of aphasia.
(Getty Images)

To the editor: The next “Die Hard” movie I see will be the first. Until your article about Bruce Willis’ apparent cognitive decline before his recent aphasia diagnosis, I didn’t even know he still made movies. (“Concerns about Bruce Willis’ declining cognitive state swirled around sets in recent years,” March 30)

So my comments are not those of a fan, just of a reader who wonders exactly when the The Times morphed from a serious practitioner of journalism into a trashy tabloid reveling in the decline of a public figure. Dishing the excruciating details of his diminished mental health was a prurient breach of privacy that could only further corrode his dignity and that of his family.

There’s a story here, and a good, if sad, one. But The Times chose to take the low road in telling it. You should be ashamed.

Ellen Alperstein, Palm Desert

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To the editor: My family deeply appreciates the sad announcement by Willis’ family of his devastating aphasia diagnosis.

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For several years, a member of my family has been grappling with this terrible disease, which has turned an esteemed university professor into a dependent child. So little is known or understood about aphasia caused by neurological illness, so I am grateful to the Willis family for bringing it to the nation’s attention.

Perhaps their brave move will result in greater awareness and, hopefully, will lead to more in-depth research into this shattering, challenging disease.

Trish Taylor, Redwood City, Calif.

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To the editor: After reading your story in Willis, I want to commend Randall Emmett, Matt Eskandari and Stephen J. Eads for refusing to comment on the actor’s behavior on set in recent times.

I think they showed great respect in preserving Willis’ dignity as he struggles with this horrible disorder. The Times should take a cue from them.

Susan L. Beckmen, Buellton


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