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The Gator's Eye

The Student News Site of Green Level High School

The Gator's Eye

The Student News Site of Green Level High School

The Gator's Eye

Gypsy-Rose Blanchard is Already Canceled

From captive, to prisoner, to fame, to lame.
Photo+credits%3A+Dr.+Phil%2C+ABC+News
Photo credits: Dr. Phil, ABC News

Cancel culture leaves no stone unturned, and Gypsy-Rose Blanchard is no exception. The traumatized girl victimized by Munchausen Syndrome by proxy to the point of conspiring to have her own mother murdered was sadly, not exempt from the love-bombing to cancellation pipeline of the internet.

Gypsy’s Backstory

If you’re not very familiar with Gypsy-Rose Blanchard and her story, you’d still likely recognize The Act, the controversial biopic series based on the events of her life. Actress Joey King played the role of Gypsy, transforming to give off a striking resemblance that captivated audiences with a combination of disbelief and morbid fascination. Though The Act (2019) was preceded by a couple of documentaries, namely Mommy Dead and Dearest (2017) and Gypsy’s Revenge (2018), it was the piece of media that ultimately skyrocketed Gypsy-Rose Blanchard’s story into the limelight and under the scrutiny of the public eye globally.

Joey King and Patricia Arquette starring as Gypsy Rose Blanchard and Clauddine “Dee Dee” Blanchard in The Act.
Credit: Brownie Harris, Hulu

Though dramatized in some elements for entertainment, The Act told the very real story of Gypsy-Rose Blanchard’s experience at the hands of her mother, Clauddine “Dee Dee” Blanchard, who suffered from a mental disorder called Munchausen Syndrome by proxy. As outlined by WebMD, “The person with MSP gains attention by seeking medical help for exaggerated or made-up symptoms of a child in their care. As health care providers strive to identify what’s causing the child’s symptoms, the deliberate actions of the parent or caretaker can often make the symptoms worse.” This is exactly what Gypsy went through, living her life from the time she was a newborn to the time she was 23 under her mother’s care, both convinced Gypsy had a multitude of conditions that she did not have. She was forced by her mother to be treated for leukemia, muscular dystrophy, vision and hearing impairments, seizures, and more, with the unneeded treatments making her almost as ill as her mother claimed her to be. Most can picture Gypsy’s smiling face with her shaved head and glasses, sitting in her wheelchair—all of which she did not require—accompanied by Dee Dee, getting some free, special experience intended for real disabled children.

The mugshots of Nick Godejohn and Gypsy Rose Blanchard.
Credit: Waukesha County, Wisc., Jail Booking Photos

The abuse Gypsy suffered at the hands of her mentally ill mother is a long chronicle of sorrowful stories that one could delve into in more detail if they so wished. What those who are interested in the most recent updates to her life need to know is that in June of 2015, the abuse became too much for Gypsy. She ultimately conspired with her boyfriend at the time, Nick Godejohn, to have her mother murdered. Godejohn stabbed Dee Dee Blanchard to death in her sleep while Gypsy hid in the bathroom of the Blanchards’ Missouri home. The couple then ran away together, until they were later caught and put on trial. Gypsy was sentenced to 10 years while Nick Godejohn was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Gypsy has just been released on December 28th, 2023, after serving about 8 years of her sentence. This day marks when her life of stardom began.

Social Media Frenzy

During the weeks leading up to Gypsy’s release from prison, social media was in a frenzy, flooded with countdowns, fan edits, and speculative statements. It seemed as though most of this fan behavior was sarcastic, but the obsession (once again, morbid fascination) remained, and some people truly seemed to worship her. Though Gypsy wasn’t exactly a cold-blooded killer, to many, the Internet’s obsession with Gypsy was reminiscent of the online communities who idolize and romanticize serial killers such as Jeffrey Dahmer and Richard Ramirez despite the horrid crimes they’ve committed. This similarity made some apprehensive of welcoming Gypsy back into the world with such open arms, and some post words of warning about rocket-launching someone so clearly traumatized into being the center of the world’s attention. Many shared posts outlining what Gypsy went through, first at the hands of her mother, then her mother’s murder, and then a long while in prison, and how it likely severely impacted her psyche, making her unfit to receive the disorienting international notoriety of a celebrity.

Gypsy-Rose Blanchard and Ryan Anderson, via Gypsy’s Instagram (@gypsyrose_a_blanchard).

Despite the caution that many suggested, people continued to flood the internet with videos and images of Gypsy, posting uplifting and joking comments about her impending release. They even began to find her social media accounts, allowing her to amass 9.8 million followers on TikTok and 8.3 million followers on Instagram. When the day of Gypsy-Rose Blanchard’s freedom came, the internet exploded into a flurry of memes, well-wishes, and updates on her whereabouts. Many were shocked to see her accompanied by a man upon her release, and even more shocked to find out that this man was her husband. What many didn’t know was that Gypsy had actually married a man named Ryan Anderson from Lake Charles, Louisiana. Anderson is a special education teacher for a middle school and wrote to Gypsy while she was serving her time. The two corresponded for a while and fell in love, and Gypsy got married to him in July of 2022 while still incarcerated. Photos from the day of her release included Gypsy accompanied by Anderson as she left the Chillicothe Correctional Center in Chillicothe, Missouri. 

Gypsy’s New Life

The reaction to Gypsy’s new husband was mixed, but most of the Internet expressed joy when seeing photos of Anderson taking Gypsy shopping for new clothes, shoes, makeup, and other luxuries she couldn’t enjoy in prison. As she settled into her new life with her husband and family, she began to ease into having a social media presence on her accounts that wasn’t just advertising done by her team for her new book, Released: Conversations on the Eve of Freedom. Whilst discussing how her book would tell the true story from her perspective in contrast to the renditions provided by The Act or the documentaries, she also shared photos and videos on Instagram and TikTok about how she’s settling back into her life out of prison. Gypsy’s posts included photos with her loved ones, pictures of her wedding ring, selfies with spunky captions, and promotions for her new reality show, The Prison Confessions of Gypsy Rose Blanchard. The special will include six episodes of Gypsy herself telling the story of her mother’s abuse, murder, and the aftermath, including Gypsy’s happy ending.

What Goes Up Must Come Down

Of course, someone who is launched so high, so fast into the limelight is bound to come crashing down. After millions of likes, follows, mentions, and supporters raving about Gypsy’s bravery and resilience, she would indeed become the next victim of cancel culture. Gypsy and her husband, Ryan, naturally participated in a few interviews and podcast episodes shortly after her release to share updates about their lives. From these interviews and Gypsy’s new presence in general, there have been a few significant points of controversy, signifying the beginning of Gypsy’s decline.

First and foremost, many take issue with Gypsy’s crime itself. Being an accomplice to the murder of her mother, even despite the prior circumstances, is unforgivable in the minds of many. Some herald the matricide as unnecessary and cruel, claiming that Gypsy could have sought escape in another way, such as getting the authorities involved, and that killing a mentally ill woman for the symptoms of her disorder was inhumane. Though Gypsy served most of her allotted sentence, some disagree with the justice system on her punishment. Many are shocked and disgusted that she’s been released, and even more horrified at her new social status. 

In congruence with the ethical questions that surround Gypsy’s fame, some take special issue with Gypsy suddenly profiting off of her crime as soon as she was released. She wasted no time in prison working on a book and working out a deal for a reality show, a time that many feel that she should have spent reflecting on her crime and working to better herself. She’s starting to seem inauthentic and dishonest about her story, especially because she’s profiting off of what is supposedly “her truth.”

A certain clip from The Viall Files podcast is especially concerning to many. While being interviewed by the hosts, Gypsy is seen squeezing her husband’s arm to get him to stop talking about something she wants to keep a secret, which Gypsy has talked about her mother doing to her in the past. People construed this to mean that Gypsy has carried on the manipulative tendencies of her mother, those that allowed her to trap Gypsy in her abuse. Some are even saying that Gypsy’s husband has a striking resemblance to Dee Dee Blanchard, implying that Gypsy is a deranged individual who has not healed from her past traumas and is therefore seeking out a partner who resembles her abusive mother for some sense of familiarity.

Gypsy-Rose Blanchard on Good Morning America.

While there are many individuals on opposite sides of the spectrum, either loving or hating Gypsy-Rose Blanchard, there are many who do not admire her nor blame her for her unlikely rise to stardom. Some middle-ground individuals have been voices of reason on the Internet amid Gypsy’s controversies, suggesting that those who are giving her all of this attention, love, and such a large fanbase are at fault. They believe that Gypsy is a traumatized woman who made a mistake when she was young to escape her abuser. They feel that she should not be commended nor hated, but left alone to live her life in peace and heal herself so that she doesn’t cause harm again. It’s more likely than not that this quick rise to and fall from fame that’s playing out has done additional harm to Gypsy’s mental health.

Gypsy has proclaimed herself an advocate for spreading awareness about Munchausen Syndrome by proxy, and she’ll likely fare better taking this approach to her fame rather than playing into the internet drama people have projected onto her.

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About the Contributor
R. Butler, Opinion Editor
Regan is a senior and this is her second year being part of the Gator's Eye. In her free time, she enjoys writing (of course), spending time with friends, and singing with her band and the Green Level Chorus. She likes reporting on interesting things going on at GLHS, as well as larger-scale issues and topics.