It’s all over the entertainment headlines and unavoidable on social media timelines: Drake Bell, best known from the Nickelodeon TV series “Drake & Josh,” arrested in Glendale, Calif. on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI).
It happened, coincidentally, just a few miles from where I am writing this now.
Glendale police say the 29-year-old actor and musician was pulled over Christmas week by police at 2:20 A.M. after they saw him stopped at a red light and then beginning to swerve and speed. Bell reportedly then failed a field sobriety test and the arresting officer noticed a smell of alcohol from the car.
Though Drake Bell declared personal bankruptcy in 2014, he has remained employed in Hollywood as the voice of Peter Parker on the “Ultimate Spider-Man” animated series from 2012 to 2015 and voiced Spider-Man on “Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.”
Drake Bell also has a very active social media presence and has used that platform to opine–and take on some of Hollywood’s heavyweights.
Bell has repeatedly slammed Justin Bieber and his “Beliebers.” Drake Bell signed a petition to have the Canadian-born Bieber deported, after Bieber’s own arrest on DUI and drag racing in Miami in January 2014. Now, “Beliebers” on Twitter are calling the actor a hypocrite and that he had it coming.
Bell also made headlines earlier this year when he commented on Bruce Jenner’s transition to Caitlyn Jenner; that he would still call the former Olympian and reality TV star Bruce Jenner despite the transition. He later apologized.
Given Drake Bell’s tendencies to say what he’s thinking, however politically incorrect, it’s all the more ironic, and disappointing from a PR perspective, that Drake Bell has remained silent on his own DUI arrest.
His reputation has taken a big hit. And actors often lose jobs and gigs after something like this happens. So how he handles things is VERY important.
Jokes aside, including the one “You’ve come a long way from Drake & Josh to Drake and Sloshed,” Bell does have an opportunity to turn this around for himself.
Some people on social media say his arrest on DUI is no big deal and he should be given a break. I for one believe that DUI is a big deal, even if DUI arrests have become common among celebrities. If Bell was driving drunk, he is lucky he didn’t hurt himself or anyone else. And I would say the vast majority of Americans would agree with me. The Centers for Disease Control reports that one in three traffic deaths is alcohol related.
“Drake & Josh” may not be in production anymore, but it still airs and kids everywhere look up to him. Drake Bell is a celebrity.
He made a huge mistake. But now he has an opportunity now to up to it. He can to turn this DUI into something positive. He should immediately apologize and then do what he can to prevent other young men and youths from making the same mistake he made.
It’s time for him to show the world that he has grown up. And he can impress upon young people that drinking and driving can kill… and that when you make a big mistake you take responsibility for it.
Some self deprecation is in order of Drake Bell. I suspect it won’t be easy for Bell, who appears to have a difficult time losing or accepting defeat. But this should be a sobering lesson for him. And because he is a celebrity, it could be for others as well.