There are many stories that should have received a lot more media coverage. The Hulu original, “The Act,” shows a glimpse inside the story of Louisiana natives Gypsy Rose Blanchard and her mother DeeDee Blanchard. The twist is that it’s based on true events, and shows how DeeDee made Gypsy think that she was impaired and very sick by convincing her she was younger than her actual age and forcing her to take multiple pills for her “illnesses.” Along with this, her mother shaved her head to maintain a sick image as well as forced her to use a wheelchair when she had every ability to walk. The two became known to the public due to Gypsy’s multiple “illnesses” and “disabilities” and they received financial compensation from people that felt badly for her as well as a brand new home built for them after Hurricane Katrina washed their home away. They profited off Gypsy’s sick image and no one questioned it, not even the doctors.
During the series, it is revealed that Gypsy was under the impression that she was 15 but discovered she was actually 19 after finding a Medicaid card with a different birth date. She was also led to believe that she was allergic to sugar, could not walk, and could not take food through the mouth therefore causing her to have a feeding tube.
This lasted over a majority of her life until Gypsy found out the truth: there was actually nothing wrong with her and her true age was not what she thought. Yet, she still decided to play along with her mother’s lies. The series shows her getting out of bed at night, walking, and then drinking Coca-Cola and eating sweets. She continued to challenge all the illnesses her mom told her she had, but never got the truth.
The two reaped the benefits for years, receiving money, donations, and even living in a house built by Habitat for Humanity while keeping up the act that Gypsy was ill. Gypsy eventually began online dating and entered into a relationship with a man named Nick. During their conversations, Nick admitted he has multi-personalty disorder. She later asked Nick’s other identity, “Victor,” who was much more sinister than Nick, to kill her mom after she becomes fed up with the act they’ve been playing. In 2015, Victor stabs DeeDee Blanchard to death in her home. The couple then attempts to run away together but were eventually caught and charged with the murder of Gypsy’s mother.
As of today, Gypsy Rose and Nick are in jail.
Most people say that Gypsy should not have been charged because of what her mother did to her throughout her life. She was brainwashed into thinking her mom was all she had and the only one who could truly care for her, which in some ways is true, because no one else would have “taken care” of putting together the act everyday besides her mother. In my opinion, Gypsy could have left with Nick when she was old enough not to be a runaway at 18. She could have left her mother and all the wrong she did behind. All that negativity and hurt would have stayed with her mom in that house when she left.
The way it looks to me is that she wanted revenge, getting back at her mom for all the years she wasn’t allowed to do things, and was unhappy and unable to get what she truly wanted. She did not kill her mom in self-defense and wanted her to suffer. Her mom was diagnosed with types 2 diabetes and was not taking her medication around the time of her murder, which shows that she was not strong enough to fight off an attacker.
In the end, Gypsy took advantage of her mom just like her mom took advantage of her. Of course DeeDee was really messed up because of what she did; she mentally abused and scarred her child. But, there were so many ways out of this situation for Gypsy other than murder.