Tyler Henry of Hollywood Medium may not be the “medium, clairvoyant, and medical intuitive” he says he is. Henry (born Tyler Henry Koelewyn) claims that when he was 10 years old, he predicted his grandmother”s death, and ever since, he”s been able to communicate with the dead. On his reality show, which debuted in January 2016, Henry and his mom travel to Los Angeles, where he visits celebrities” homes to connect with their deceased loved ones.
We find it hard to believe that this young man supposedly knows nothing about the celebrities he meets with on his hit series. Did he have television, radio, or the internet while growing up outside Fresno, Calif.? On top of that, he clearly uses the exact same tricks as every other celebrity medium before him, i.e. vague predictions, steering clear of controversial topics, and having a tendency to lean on his subjects” personal tragedies as an alleged means of emotional manipulation.
In other words: The Hollywood Medium is totally fake, and here are all the reasons why.
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When Henry did a reading for Matt Lauer on the Today show in August 2016, he was given an old pocket knife to assist his senses. Hmm…who”s likely to carry one of those? An older relative, perhaps? Henry proceeds to reference declining health — an easy guess — then says this person wanted to die at home, which is also a very common request. Lauer reveals that Henry must be referencing his father, who passed away in 1997 at home in hospice care.
Next, Henry brings up a coin collection. “I have a couple of silver dollars from him, but not a lot, Lauer offers.” Henry then conveniently changes the collection to “three” coins and says one coin might be missing. “How many do you have?” he asks Lauer. “I think I have two,” Lauer replies. Let”s keep in mind this veteran news anchor knows they need to put on a good segment.
The rest of the reading is fairly uneventful, especially in retrospect, considering Henry also failed to give Lauer even the slightest head”s up about the career-shattering scandal in his very near future.
Henry met up with some staffers on the Today show in January 2016, including plaza producer Alex Ficquette. Henry talks to Ficquette about his deceased father and brother, quickly reducing the producer to tears. Keep in mind, on the aired segment, Henry mentions only a man”s unexpected heart attack, followed by an individual involved in a tragedy, and a “reference to a name being passed down.” Ficquette voluntarily fills in the gaps, explaining that his dad died of a heart attack; his brother passed away from a drug overdose; and his deceased brother was named after his dad.
The Chamber Brothers YouTube channel had a field day ripping this reading apart, noting the father”s death, the brother”s death, and their name connection was very easy to unearth online, particularly since both tragedies had occurred within roughly six months of Henry”s reading. The YouTube show speculates all Henry needed to know in advance was the name of the staffer to easily research enough information to formulate a seemingly accurate intuition.
When Henry met with reality star Khloe Kardashian for a reading on an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians in 2015, she claimed she had “a very great intuition” and felt “energies and spirits really well.” She asked if she”d ever be able to see visions like him. Henry told her if she “wasn”t afraid of” her psychic abilities than she, too, could be a medium. “It”s one of those things that you don”t have to embrace,” he said, “but if you choose to embrace it, and kind of connect, not be afraid of it, that”s the biggest thing. Fear is the quickest way to shut something down. You definitely have that really keen intuition.”
Khloe then points to her sister, Kourtney Kardashian, asking if she also has special powers. Henry says Kourtney and Khloe have the “strongest” intuition in the room, leaving Kim Kardashian out of the psychic club. The only thing we”re learning from this is that perhaps we”ll see another Kardashian spin-off soon: Khloe and Kourtney Take on the Afterlife.
If you actually had the ability to communicate with the dead, wouldn”t you ask some big questions? For instance, let”s say you could speak directly with deceased defense attorney Robert Kardashian. You”d probably want to ask him about his friend and former client, O.J. Simpson, who stood trial for the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. Henry did no such thing when he met with the Kardashians in 2016. Instead, he focused on Caitlyn Jenner”s deceased dad”s tree trimming business.
Henry tends to only tell clients either things they already know, or vague, comforting sentiments, such as assuring subjects that deceased family members are together and watching over the living. In this clip, as Kris Jenner and Khloe nod along in agreement with Henry”s fuzzy intuitions, as per usual, nothing too surprising, interesting, or shocking emerges.
Henry”s psychic readings don”t just help other people. They also help him publicize his book, titled Between Two Worlds (folks who pre-ordered it were entered to win a free one-on-one Skype reading) and also promote his TV show, which brings in upwards of 3 million viewers a night and was E!”s largest non-spinoff, unscripted launch in years, according to Variety. The network ordered extra episodes in its first season and picked it up for a second season. Henry has been hard at work promoting his products on talk shows such as Today and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
By the way, you can also book Henry for events or personal appearances via his stellar and stylish website. One could argue that, at this point, Henry seems more focused on communicating with your wallet than corresponding with the dead.
In this episode of Hollywood Medium, Henry attends a party and is “trying to unwind” when he “randomly” gets a “pull in the direction of this girl.” The “random” girl is former Disney superstar Bella Thorne, but Henry supposedly has no idea who she is. He talks to her about a man “in the fatherly kind of a realm” passing in a “vehicular-related accident” and a reference to 2007. Thorne eventually reveals that her dad died in a motorcycle accident in 2007, which is right at the top of her Wikipedia entry.
Henry then attempts to dig beyond Google”s first page of search returns, referencing a plush gift that has significant value. Thorne draws a complete blank on the teddy bear references. Henry concludes by advising her to talk with other family members. “It will make sense to someone,” he says. “I would ask around about it.”
To Out magazine, Henry said he prides himself on focusing on “information that cannot be researched or googled,” but his vague references that do connect with the client indicate otherwise, suggesting his visions aren”t the “sentimental pieces of information” he says they are.
Henry tends to play on people”s sorrows in order to demonstrate his “gift.” According to Susan Gerbic of the Skeptical Inquirer, by telling clients he”s communicating with their loved ones, he”s exploiting their pain as a “grief vampire,” feeding off others” sorrow.
Jezebel writer Bobby Finger expanded on this concept, describing it as an exploitative practice by dubious figures who almost always pass on the same message of “I”m fine” from deceased loved ones. This “doesn”t just con their desperate, mournful targets out of a few hard-earned dollars,” Finger continues, “it does a disservice to the memories of those they lost.”
Henry told Out magazine his goal was “ultimately to work with parents who have lost children to suicide,” yet we don”t see him doing much of that, at least not publicly. He also told Out, “a huge part of my work revolves around being an activist and being able to create a conversation,” yet again, the bulk of the activity we see from him is TV spots, party appearances, book signings, and some very vague “visions.”
Henry sometimes messes up his own shtick. In an episode in Season 2 of Hollywood Medium, he meets with The Real Housewives of New York star Carole Radziwill. As usual, Henry pretends to have no idea who Radziwill is, only this time he seemingly misspeaks. “I don”t know what you do for a living,” Henry says. “I don”t watch much TV.”
Bobby Finger of Jezebel writes, “That right there? That accidental revelation that he knows she”s in TV (not to mention on Bravo, which is owned by NBC Universal, the same parent company as E!
Henry seems to quickly try to cover up his misstep by saying, “You may not be in TV, you could be Broadway.” This potentially revealing conversation shows he may have conducted his own research before the reading or been fed some information prior to the session.
In August 2016, just three months before the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Tyler Henry was asked about Donald Trump”s chances of getting into the White House. “I”m watching him and I am not worried,” Henry told reporters, according to The Wrap. Henry”s “prediction” about Trump was incredibly vague.
“Take that response to mean either he foresees the GOP candidate losing…or potentially as Henry having no concerns about the Donald”s leadership abilities. (It was probably not the latter, as this is Hollywood after all.)” quipped The Wrap. We”d love to know if Henry is worried now, but let”s be real, he”s not going to tell us.
When Henry did a reading of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Kyle Richards in 2016, he said he saw her deceased mother holding hands with a stillborn or miscarried child. “It would have been a very traumatic experience,” he told Richards. She doesn”t seem to follow. After Henry offers more clues as to what he”s envisioning, Richards eventually concludes, “I think my sister had one,” referring to the loss of a child. Keyword: thinks.
Perhaps looking for something more solid to cling to, Richards later directly asks Henry about her deceased mother and hummingbirds, thus feeding Henry his next line. He, of course, suddenly sees a hummingbird reference in his mind that relates to someone passing away.
For the sake of argument, let”s say Henry is genuinely communicating with the dead. If that were the case, you”d think he”d use his talent to do more than host meet and greets. Instead, Henry”s TV show follows the same tried and true formula of other controversial mediums, such as his East Coast competition, the Long Island Medium. These reality stars don”t seem to use their powers for anything important, and they leave a lot of people feeling emotional and confused.
Even Henry”s endorsement by one of the most famous TV psychics, John Edward, of Crossing Over (2001-04), reeks of snake oil. Edward tweeted (via E! News): “It”s AWESOME to see some1 young not care about FAME & put the validation of spirit first. & that says a lot as.. his show is called #hollywoodmedium.”
So, just to be clear, we”re supposed to believe that Henry”s business vision of forgoing average people to cater to the stars, with a reported waiting list of more than 15,000 customers, has nothing to do with fame. We”re reading you, Henry, loud and clear.