Should family members be allowed to publish unsubstantiated allegations about other members of their family?
The memoir is the latest trend in "tell-all" Oprah-style authorship and journalism. However, it has caused a lot of debate about the limits of the freedom of speech in the United States and the crime of defamation and libel in the United Kingdom. Most of what people write about members of their families tend to be titillating tales of abuse and neglect in order to gain more readership. This is done, usually, without the permission of the family member in question and can cause family ruptures and even destroy careers. The United States allows such a broad remit of the freedom of speech that most allegations can be published unless they are complete and utter lies. There used to be something known as a "gentleman's reputation" which was respected to some extent. This seems to have gone completely out the window and anything goes now, no matter what the harm to the individual. There should be stricter laws on what can be published, including the permission of the person in question, or this destructive trend continues. Eminem is one notable individual whose music carries the message that he believes he can blame every problem in his life on his family, causing his mother to sue him court. He and others like him in the US should not be allowed to denigrate other people in their family without some sort of legal remedy.