Jon Hamm's Stint In Rehab: PR Stunt?

The promotional push for fans to watch those series-ending seven episodes of AMC’s “Mad Men” (which begin April 5) is a slam-bang, exhaustive PR/ad campaign.  I’ve seen the show mentioned in seemingly every conceivable media outlet -- from the “MM” bench in Rockefeller Plaza, which models that iconic image of the back of the Draper body, to a piece in House Beautiful about show creator Matthew Weiner's new home office, to a New York Times   visit with Weiner and Kiernan Shipka (Sally Draper, of course) where the reporter asks about Sally’s masturbation scene.

Still, my favorite "MM" promotion remains last year’s out-of-home ad, set in New York and L.A.: a giant cocktail glass that spilled out a bit of “liquor” each day during the week before the premiere, ending up empty on launch date.



But there’s one piece of current “MM” news I’m not sure how to take. Have you seen the reports about star Jon Hamm completing a 30-day stint in rehab for alcoholism? Hamm has been careful to say that any details are “between me and my family.” But if his rehab is so private, why mention it publicly at all?

Hmmm…. Doesn’t the timing of this announcement seem kind of suspicious? Could it possibly be another way to subtly promote “MM,” fueling speculation about how the series will end -- and the ultimate fate of Don, who has famously abused alcohol for seven seasons? Maybe Weiner said, "Jon, if you're going to rehab, then go now.”

It’s almost as if the PR campaign for “Downton Abbey,” now also setting up its final season, would have Brendan Coyle (who plays Mr. Bates, everyone’s favorite jailbird valet) arrested on trumped-up murder charges.

I’m not sure how complicit Hamm was with this rehab PR ploy, if that’s what it was. He’s always seemed like a great guy: stretching as an actor with great comic parts in “30 Rock,” and “Saturday Night Live”; sticking by long-time girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt despite becoming famous as a moody sex symbol.

(In the first years of the series, I had quite a crush on Hamm myself. When I saw him in person at a Yahoo press conference, I took notes like “He’s incredibly good-looking in person. Killer smile!” OMG!)

So, staying close to the warm (but no longer adoring) feelings I still have for the actor, I’ll ask respectfully:  Jon, what have you done? If you’ve really got a problem with alcohol, I’m glad you got help. But mixing real life and fiction for the sake of publicity is not cool.

2 comments about "Jon Hamm's Stint In Rehab: PR Stunt? ".
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  1. Jon Currie from Currie Communications, Inc., April 1, 2015 at 1:44 p.m.

    Whatever. He has an awesome first name!

  2. Pamela Horovitz from Internet Video Archive, April 1, 2015 at 2:23 p.m.

    Speculating about whether someone getting rehab is just a publicity stunt is not cool.

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