Tyler Henry (born January 13, 1996) is an American reality show personality who appears in the series Hollywood Medium With Tyler Henry as a clairvoyant medium. The series began broadcast on the E! Television Network in the United States in January 2016, and was E!'s largest launch of a non-spinoff unscripted series in the past three years with 3.2 million viewers for its third episode. A number of critics have called Henry a "grief vampire" and criticized the show for targeting people who are grieving and vulnerable and exploiting them for entertainment.
After giving readings to students and teachers at Hanford's Sierra Pacific High School, from which he graduated on an accelerated academic program, Henry initially aspired to attend college and become a hospice nurse. However, Henry soon was "discovered". Before long, he gained a celebrity clientele and a reality TV development deal. Henry began filming his E! television series when he was 19 years old; the show began airing a week after his 20th birthday. Henry reportedly welcomes skepticism about his work: "I am content with people asking questions", he told the Fresno Bee. Henry is openly gay.
Hollywood Medium With Tyler Henry premiered on E! on January 24, 2016. After a successful premiere, E! ordered two additional episodes, making it 10 episodes total. The show airs Sunday nights at 10 pm. In March 2016, It was announced that E! had ordered a second season of the show.
In March 2016, E! reported that Henry was writing his first memoir with Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. The book publisher told E! that the book "will reveal what living life as a medium is really like—from opening up about discovering his gift as a young teen to what it's truly like to communicate with the departed. He also discusses the difficulty he had accepting his rare talents and the courage it took to share them with the world."
Susan Gerbic has dismissed Henry as one of many "grief vampires" who have gained recent cultural notoriety, and she is particularly critical of Henry's stated aspiration of offering counseling to parents who have lost children to suicide, a practice Gerbic describes as "prey[ing] on families when they are the most desperate and vulnerable". Gerbic describes the performances as "a fabric of lies", saying that people like Henry "prey on the poor and disaffected." Sharon Hill has also been critical, saying "It's hardly a 'skill' to guess at celebrities' lives", noting that his apparent successes on the show are "craftily edited" for television audiences. "What Henry's doing isn't entertainment" states Hemant Mehta, "it's deception". Mehta doubts that Henry will submit to scientific trials, and feels that he is "just the latest telegenic star on a network dedicated to celebrating vapid people." Neurologist Steven Novella agrees with Gerbic that psychics like Henry are "grief vampires" who say they are giving comfort to grieving families: "Henry wishes to inject made up BS. He is not a trained counselor, and working with the grieving is very tricky. The potential for harm is tremendous." David Gorski writes that if Henry restricted his readings to celebrities as entertainment, then that would be harmless, but Henry wants to work with grieving parents whose children have committed suicide. "Likely the producer of his show is looking for such grieving parents right now, fodder for the grief vampire, to be shown for the morbid entertainment of the masses." Huffington Post entertainment writer Cole Delbyck criticized the show and Henry's claims to connect celebrities with their deceased loved ones, saying, "from the previews, it looks fairly exploitative and tasteless".
Mentalist Mark Edward and Gerbic commented on the readings Henry gave to Ross Matthews, Margaret Cho, Jodie Sweetin and Jillian Rose Reed. They state that Henry does not need to know whom he is reading in advance as "it appears to be nothing more than lukewarm cold-reading, flattery and generalities." The sitters in the post interviews claimed that Henry had been very specific, but Gerbic and Edward could not find one single hit, noting errors in memory for each sitter.