Academy’s Robin Williams Tweet Criticized by Suicide Prevention Group

Robin Williams death Aladdin
Disney

A tweet from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences about Robin Williams’ death has proven popular, but not with one suicide-prevention group.

The tweet, sent out Monday at 5:56 p.m., shows the genie from the 1992 “Aladdin” with the message, “Genie, you’re free,” which is a line from the film. The item was retweeted more than 320,000 times and received a staggering 69 million impressions. The Internet and Twitter have been filled with tributes to Williams, who voiced the genie in the film.

However, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention worries about the subliminal message. Christine Moutier, chief medical officer at the AFSP, expressed concern about the tweet, telling the Washington Post Tuesday, “Suicide should never be presented as an option,” before adding, “(it) presents suicide in too celebratory a light.”

Several others also tweeted the line from the film, including Evan Rachel Wood. Her message was retweeted 100,000 times while Buzzfeed called the Academy tweet “a real tearjerker.” But since the Academy hands out Oscars, its tweet got the most attention, including positive mentions on “Good Morning America” and in PR Week.

After Williams’ death was confirmed Monday, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention posted a a statement on its website in response. In the Tuesday posting, the org points out that suicide is one of the top 10 causes of death in the U.S., killing someone every 13 minutes. “We have to do more to prevent such tragic deaths through greater awareness of mental health issues, warning signs, effective interventions and treatment,” said the statement. “Suicide is preventable and we all have a role to play to end the tragedy of suicide.”

Some people who retweeted the Academy’s message added comments. A few balked, but many were positive, adding such statements as “Says it all” and “Immediate lump in the throat.” Reps from the Academy had no comment and reps from AFSP were unavailable.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 86

Leave a Reply

86 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. I don’t find what the AMPAS tweeted offensive, but I see where the suicide prevention people are coming from.

  2. Please celebrate every August 11th as Universal Joy and Laughter Day for all that Robin Williams gave us.

  3. Let's get real... says:

    I find it interesting how we treat all suicides equally when they are not.

    This Org says that “suicide should never be presented as an option.” I agree we shouldn’t hand people with bipolar disorder or manic depression a bottle of Ambien and an EMO CD.

    However, it is equally possible that RW’s facing a very serious debilitating disease (which I’m sure didn’t help his depression) may have been a contributing factor.

    If I were diagnosed with say, ALS, I would definitely consider ending things on my own terms. That isn’t “a permanent solution to a temporary problem” because the problem isn’t going anywhere, ever.

    I get why physician assisted suicide is such a debatable issue. But ending ones own life when facing the very real prospect of serious physical disability isn’t the same thing as suicide as a result of mental illness.

    RW’s history with depression gives me cause to wonder where the depression stopped and the reality of his future began.

    But what was the alternative? Lock him up in a psych ward and pump him full of drugs so a grad student social worker could tell him “it would be OK?” That, even though he would eventually be unable to brush his own teeth and wipe himself life would still be worth living?

    Suicide can be a tragedy. But suicide can also be an individual’s opportunity to avoid certain pain and indignity. That choice belongs to the individual. When the individual is a teenager who commits suicide over their prom date, that’s tragic. But if you ever face a disease like Parkinson’s, ALS, Huntington’s, LBD or Alzheimers it is your choice whether you end it yourself or allow the disease to whittle you away so you can die a husk.

    RW made a choice. It is sad to see him go. But his wife and kids weren’t facing living with this disease. So the idea that his suicide was selfish because it didn’t take his family into account is also ridiculous.

  4. Jerry says:

    We may never know what hurt Robin
    Williams so, but the world was a
    far better place with him, than
    without.

    I want to thank Zach, Zelda and Cody
    for sharing him with us these many
    years, a greater gift none have ever
    given. I have to believe that in his
    children, he left the better part
    of himself behind.

    nanu²

  5. Laura DragonWench says:

    Personally, I took the comment to mean that Robin was now free of the demons which plagued him, nothing else. It certainly didn’t seem to be an encouragement for suicide.

    • Well, I think what the AFSP is saying that, in spite of the demons we all face, suicide should never be an option.

    • Patricia Schneider says:

      I also found the Tweet endearing and felt sad that his demons won……The Disney tweet to me was comforting in the way Robin was remembered….why do people always have to look on the dark side…maybe that’s the problem…Let him rest in peace

  6. Mikesommers says:

    I see nothing wrong with it, and I’m not sure how that could even been implied.

  7. Nikky says:

    I thought it was a heartbreaking, nice tribute but this point crossed my mind when i first saw it as well. I get the point it was making, but I see the bad implication.

  8. I find that lovely and a loving tribute.

  9. iambicpentamaster says:

    Theme from MASH = Suicide Is Painless.

    Really?

    Ask the lonely, loving survivors left behind as they’re left to deal with the image of their loved one frozen in a sitting position suspended by a belt around his neck.

    Suicide can be described many ways, but “painless” is far from accurate.

  10. william penn says:

    Hollywood’s all for abortion, so why not suicide, too?

  11. Ken Puck says:

    Support mental health, or else….

  12. alex says:

    People are too sensitive and only a dumb cluck would take this line of tribute as advice to commit suicide. the tweet was appropriate, relevant and creative. The AFSP is taking things out of context.

  13. Jessica shoemaker says:

    My thought is suicide is a personal choice. It is between you and your god. You can try to intervene but most people are very quite on the subject about it and di not advertise their intentions. Yes I really enjoyed the entertaiment he gave so many loved his movies. Enjoyed the laughter. But now let the family grieve in peace and thank god you were here to enjoy everything he brought to you Via TV, MOVIES RADIO DCS OR ANYTHING ELSE. MAY HE REST IN PEACE HE WILL BE MISSED BY MANY ESPECIALLY HIS FAMILY.

    • Ruth Ann says:

      Ruth Ann Myers says:

      August 14, 2014 at 10:36 am

      For those who don’t understand Robin Williams actions: (Not saying I know this is how he felt but I bet I am on the right track.)

      It is not easy when you are supposed to be this person that makes people laugh and does it wonderfully, but truthfully inside you really don’t feel happy and because you do not feel happy, you get trapped in your mind with this incredible sense of helplessness. The reason you feel so helpless and lonely is because you can’t talk to anyone because they expect you to be funny not down and sad. It is a very hard HARD thing to get past. And sooo you withdraw and don’t call the people who love you because they think it is easy for you to talk like normal, just snap out of and continue making people laugh when you DON’T want to. They want you to be happy and help but they don’t truly understand how deep this feeling goes. The loneliness sets in and the bathroom or somewhere else where you can cry by yourself is always there for you. Unfortunately, so are your thoughts. Have you ever cried so much, there was no salt left in your tears? Believe me it hurts…, deep deep deep down inside…you really do feel there is no one to talk to and life just sucks for whatever reason. Robin William’s was no coward or selfish….his head wouldn’t stop zipping back and forth and give him any kind of peace….he didn’t know what to do. Counseling is available and somewhat helpful and he DID try but when you hurt sooooo much, you really don’t know what to do anymore!! I know that feeling. For the ones that don’t understand, please give Robin Williams a break….he didn’t do this to ANYONE, he did it to himself. Depression is ugly and it can’t always be controlled. I love you Robin Williams. I get it!! I am sorry your zipping head took control of you. …you will definitely be missed.😚😚😚😇😇😇😇😇💔✌

  14. takenobull says:

    Don’t post anything about what he put in his body to cause depression its not allowed :)

  15. Ruth Ann Myers says:

    For those who don’t understand Robin Williams actions: (Not saying I know this is how he felt but I bet I am on the right track.)

    It is not easy when you are supposed to be this person that makes people laugh and does it wonderfully, but truthfully inside you really don’t feel happy and because you do not feel happy, you get trapped in your mind with this incredible sense of helplessness. The reason you feel so helpless and lonely is because you can’t talk to anyone because they expect you to be funny not down and sad. It is a very hard HARD thing to get past. And sooo you withdraw and don’t call the people who love you because they think it is easy for you to talk like normal, just snap out of and continue making people laugh when you DON’T want to. They want you to be happy and help but they don’t truly understand how deep this feeling goes. The loneliness sets in and the bathroom or somewhere else where you can cry by yourself is always there for you. Unfortunately, so are your thoughts. Have you ever cried so much, there was no salt left in your tears? Believe me it hurts…, deep deep deep down inside…you really do feel there is no one to talk to and life just sucks for whatever reason. Robin William’s was no coward or selfish….his head wouldn’t stop zipping back and forth and give him any kind of peace….he didn’t know what to do. Counseling is available and somewhat helpful and he DID try but when you hurt sooooo much, you really don’t know what to do anymore!! I know that feeling. For the ones that don’t understand, please give Robin Williams a break….he didn’t do this to ANYONE, he did it to himself. Depression is ugly and it can’t always be controlled. I love you Robin Williams. I get it!! I am sorry your zipping head took control of you. …you will definitely be missed.😚😚😚😇😇😇😇😇💔✌

  16. The Genie IS free. and it doesn’t condone suicide. It is an acknowledgement that he was in pain and he is no longer. That is all. It doesn’t say ‘c’mon everybody, let’s escape together’. If the institution is going to condemn the tweet, they better come up with one of their own that’s better.

  17. Jack Rabbit says:

    What this demonstrates is the melding of entertainment with real life that is an ever growing tendency in western culture. “Life is a movie.” Suicide is tragedy and should not distilled down to a Disney cartoon. A more cynical view would suggest that the tweet is a promo for sales of the DVD of the cartoon.

    • Jack Rabbit says:

      So, if your son or daughter is depressed and possibly suicidal, hand them a vial of sleeping pills and tell them they can be “free.” Sorta like sending them off to college.

  18. Jacques Strappe says:

    I understand the controversy here. This is actually a good debate since it draws more attention to mental illness and depression, specifically. I think this a quite lovely and poetic line to quote from the animated Aladdin film. Mr; Williams is finally free of the pain and torment that drove him to such an act of desperation. Perhaps the depths of Mr, Williams depression was so great that he could not have been helped other than by being heavily medicated or institutionalized but we will never know.

  19. Benson says:

    I find the over use of the word “offensive” offensive.

    • Lex Walker says:

      I find your overuse of “the” offensive. I’m sorry I had to use a word you found…uh…unpleasant to alert you to my own dislike.

  20. TheMadKing says:

    Free the Academy!!!

  21. Joe Q. says:

    Death does not automatically mean freedom. That is what is so sick about the statement. Killing yourself is not a guarantee to end your suffering. You might still have work to do on the other side. Are his children free now? Are all of the young people who felt connected to him free? What about his close family and friends? Are they free now because of this choice? Was it worth it to “free” one man at the cost of binding so many others in darkness and pain? Suicide does not end pain. It just transfers your pain to a bunch of other people. It increases the pain in the world because now at least 10 others are deeply affected by the action. It is an automatic and exponential karmic reaction. There is no way around it. And in Robins case, due to his desire for world acclaim, his burden of responsibly and sphere of influence is so much larger than the average person. If you feel this way, think about spending your time doing positive things for others and transmute that negative energy into positive. Because ultimately that is what the choice comes down to. And, don’t expect people to buy this crap that you think others will be better off without you. You know it is isn’t true and you use it to convince yourself that what you want to do is okay.

    • Very well said. I don’t like it either. Your pain is multiplied among your family, not divided. Also crippling their lives for a while, and has nothing to do with undoing shackles or removing a weight, as it clearly proposes.

  22. trytoseeit says:

    I’m sure that the Academy social media person meant well, but it really was a stupid tweet. (Is that phrase a redundancy?) It actually treated death following suicide as liberating. Next they’ll play the theme song from M*A*S*H* (“Suicide Is Painless”). Yech.

    • nick hronis says:

      It was not a stupid tweet. The Academy is in the business of preserving movie memories and all it did was repeat a famous line in a popular beloved movie said by a very famous actor whose an Academy member and Oscar winner.

      AMPAS did their job, and the AFSP is doing theirs by trying to get some publicity for their org off the tweet. In Hollywood, its all about publicity.

  23. RM says:

    Oh My! This World is never gonna get anywhere and the People of this Earth will never be able to truly live in Joy & Peace as long as people believe in Ghosts.

  24. jen says:

    I agree with the suicide group. The whole media reaction is totally sick. They are revering and mythologizing a guy who slashed his arm and hung himself with a belt. It makes people who are on the edge feel like this is an option and there will be an outpouring of compassion and sympathy for them; which in many cases is all someone is actually looking for. All you hear is what a nice guy he was. How “kind’ and “gentle” and how helpless he was. That is all bull. This guy was harboring a secret for a long time. We may never know what it was that ate him up inside for years, but the media is portraying him as a helpless victim nobly afflicted by the mysterious “depression.” The more steadfastly you hold onto your secrets, the worse your prognosis. People should be learning to take responsibility for their feelings and their actions; not framing Robin’s suicide like a choice between coke or pepsi.

  25. Joe P. says:

    You all just need to stop it! The man wanted to kill himself and he did, plain and simple.

    He didn’t bother anyone or disrupt our lives doing it. He didn’t threaten it, do it as a cry for help or for sympathy, and unlike the moron’s that stand on a bridge and tie up traffic for 4 hours or the moron’s that threaten suicide standing on the edge of a building looking for the whoa is me moment with no intention of killing themselves, he made peace with his god and went out on his terms. Who the hell are we to judge the man?

    We should be happy for him, he did what he wanted to do. He is now free of the stress, addiction and turmoil that ruled his life for the past decade.

    RIP Robin!

    • trytoseeit says:

      Numa Duma, I like the way you add “RIP” after your long explanation of how it is impossible to rest in peace because when you’re dead … you’re dead, as you see it. But, wait. Death is “sleep” you say. But, truly, that is the one thing that death can’t possibly be – sleep. For those of you who have no faith or expectation of post-mortal existence, death isn’t at all like sleep because sleep is a temporary, transitional state. For those without faith or expectation of post-mortal existence, anyone’s death from suicide or from any other cause is sad because it means that the “YOLO” time has run out, and, you know, what did you do with the YOLO time you had? For those who DO have faith or an expectation of a spiritual existence, death is just a temporary parting, but nothing to be sought or desired because you know that our lives are intended to have reason and purpose. The premature interruption of life means that some part of that reason and purpose remained unexplored and unexpressed.

      When the premature interruption comes at the person’s own hands, that is the greatest sadness of all. I weep for Robin Williams and all who suffer as he did. Celebrate his life, please!, but not the choice that ended it.

      • Jack Rabbit says:

        “He didn’t bother anyone or disrupt our lives doing it.” Ask his wife and three children or the thousands of veterans suffering from depression and PTSD and other sufferers of mental illness.

      • Joe P. says:

        When you are smart enough to hit the proper reply to button then we can take you seriously.

    • turnkit says:

      “He didn’t bother anyone or disrupt our lives doing it” — how clueless is this? YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT IT NOW. How has it not affected you?

      You ask “who the hell are we to judge” but you have no problem judging the behavior of others telling them they need to stop.

      Think about this one thing: if you celebrate suicide in our culture what message do you give others who may also feel tempted to solve their temporary problems with such a permanent “solution”?

      • Jack Rabbit says:

        You like being a pompous ass?

      • Joe P. says:

        turnkit,

        Has it really affected you? Did you know him personally? Get a grip man!

        We need to stop putting celebrities on a pedestal. He was man not a God. Am I sorry he is gone, sure, but I am not taking a time off of work or sitting in my living room crying about it? Why, because he was a grown man that made a grown up decision. He was fine with his decision so I am too.

        and I am only talking about it because of the ignoramuses, like you, on this site that are constantly trying to blame someone or something when stuff like this happens. Next you will be calling for a ban on all belts because they are deadly weapons.

        Go on with your life, in a week you will forget all about this and be on some other cause anyway!

    • Tootsie says:

      If you ever suffered from a bipolar condition which ranges from depression to mania, you would mambo rethink you’re callous assessment. And, in case you are unaware, it is a real medical condition, not an emotional reaction and can be treated with limited success in most people. “Until you walk in his shoes…..” Don’t judge and be careful about calling his suicide “freedom.”

      • Joe P. says:

        Here is the Whoa is me person that I was talking about. If you were bright enough to comprehend what I was saying then you would know that I am not judging the man. Actually the opposite, he made the decision to do it, on his own and I am okay with that.

        YOU are the one’s judging him, his state of mind, his “disease/condition”, not me!

  26. abe says:

    The truth is that a single comment like this may go one way or another depending on the person reading the comment. Is it possible that a person contemplating on suicide may view this comment as an encouragement to do so? Sure, why not? Or, like most of us think, the tweet can be just dismissed as a goodbye message to a famous person. We can’t really speak for how another person would think about it. We can only speak for ourselves, really. Having said that, we have to think about balancing freedom and responsibility. We live in a free country that has a freedom of speech. We also know that words spoken have power. When you have a bigger audience, you have influence, and your words have more power. And power needs to be somewhat controlled. We have seen in superhero movies the consequences of uncontrolled power. The way we control this power of words is by being careful with what we say. Yes, we do have feelings and emotions. But that doesn’t mean that we have to always tweet how we feel. There are times to be passionate about something and expect many to disagree with you without being irresponsible. However, I believe this is not the case with this tweet. I could see the good motive in it. I’m sure the person who tweeted this did not mean any harm. But, I think that whoever wrote it did not think it through to see how that tweet may affect even one person’s thoughts on suicide.

  27. Ben says:

    I think you know.

  28. bill 1942 says:

    Could these hand-wringers decrying suicide be the same ones who whole-heartedly support and endorse euthanasia?

  29. Stan Goody says:

    Advocacy groups frequently go haywire when they suspect their cause is being threatened. Sadly, the AFSP cannot even accept compassion without going off the deep end.

  30. George says:

    I think the quote conveys the two aspects: The relief that his suffering is at an end, but also the dismay that his life is at an end. It’s not celebratory, it’s sad. The contrast of the context vs the film is poignant.

    You have to be pretty ‘simple’ to take it as a straightforward “go, Williams!” type of statement!

  31. George says:

    You come across as really rather inhumane.

    • Jon says:

      Nowhere in the bible does it say anything about suicide. Yes, life is sacred, but you cannot find any scripture that says God damns those who commit suicide. As a survivor, I can tell you what it’s like, but you won’t understand, not if you’ve never been there yourself. If you’re suicidal you know the crushing hopelessness. Words cannot convey it. There’s a desperation and fatigue that you just want to it to end. No one who has never been there can understand what it feels like, how … words fail me, and I was there, a long time ago, but I was there. Anyone who believes in a God who would send Christ to atone for our shortcomings could never believe in a God who would also condemn the suicidal.

      That is a God without compassion or mercy, or love. That is not the God I know, who rescued me from my hopelessness.

      With no disrespect to anyone in that awful place of darkness. You’re not seeing clearly, you can’t. It’s a kind of insanity. To a a person so despondent that death seems your only release, suicide is not an act of murder, or an act of cowardice, or an act of selfishness. It’s an act of desperation.

      When you’re there, you can’t see past your current situation, you have no hope, you’re not able to make a sound decision. You’re so blinded by hopeless, desperate, and weary beyond imagination, you come to a point where you just can’t go on. You can’t. It’s impossible to explain to someone who’s never been there, but I KNOW that God understands, and does not condemn those who are in that place and cannot find hope.

      I am so fortunate that I did find hope, that I can see now that what I saw then was the smallest darkest point of my life, but it had an end, an end I couldn’t see when I was in the middle of that darkness. It does have an end. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be here today. And I am certain that neither would I be in hell. Christ was the great healer, and not of the body only.

  32. Radziwill says:

    There is no heaven or hell, silly ignorant Bible banger.

  33. Brooker says:

    Find me a better line to convey the freedom that this clearly tortured soul now has.
    I dare you.

  34. CMH says:

    If someone’s is going to commit suicide, they’re going to commit suicide. Sometimes you can catch them, sometimes you can’t. It’s a very personal issue and if a tweet like this is going to resolve in his/her mind to do it then so be it. There’s nothing really anyone can do outside of padded cells and straight jackets to prevent someone from doing what they are determined to do. And, honestly, what type of life is that?

    Personally, I’ve had enough of the “shhhh, don’t say that… it might give him ideas” mentality that’s so pervasive in American society. How condescending! We all know what was meant by the tweet and finding a double meaning is just plain ludicrous.

    Robin, you were a good man! I know you left a positive mark on the world! Genie, you’re free!

  35. Mark Cramer says:

    When it’s time it’s time. He was an adult and it was his life to take. Some people have had enough and are ready to move on. I feel for those he left behind that now have to deal with their feelings of lose. Best wishes to them. Robbin is gone and will feel no more pain.

    • Jon says:

      You’re a fool. I know God, was suicidal, know the inability to make a clear decision when you’re in that place. If you tell me the same God who his Son to suffer, bleed and die for our sins will condemn one of his children in such horrific mental anguish that death would be a relief, I tell you do not understand the love of God, the compassion of Christ, or the power of the atonement.

    • George says:

      Oh, really? For all you know, he’s just done a ‘quick reset’ and is off on his next exciting dreamland adventure.

      Also, you can’t murder yourself, by definition.

  36. Fre says:

    I don’t find it a bit offensive.
    I find it creatively sweet and thoughtful.

    I’ve dealt closely with this issue and did not think of this angle until it was brought up frankly.
    And beside that, this is Life. There are many things we take in and process. Honesty and responsibility should be one and not stifled.

  37. PETER says:

    Sweet, Maverick. Nice. Well said.

  38. Anon says:

    “suicide is and has always been an option for humanity so don’t tell me how to think!” So is rape and murder you fool, it doesn’t mean these actions should be treated lightly. By the way, I’ll assume you are not “on the fence” and have no idea what’s it’s like to be there, so you don’t tell me how to think.

    • Mark Cramer says:

      That is such a ridiculous comparison it boggles the mind. To compare taking your own life to raping and or taking the life of another, asinine. Get a grip.

    • Fre says:

      Rape and Murder are done ‘to’ someone, as suicide is done only to ones self. BIG difference.
      Who’s the one with the foolish comparison.

  39. At face value I can see how some people might gloss over the deeper meaning the words have. However, as someone who has suffered from debilitating depression which can only be likened to having an itch you can’t scratch, I can say that suicide should NOT be viewed as an acceptable ‘escape’ to freedom from this devastating disorder. It’s a very uninformed remark that promotes a dangerous misconception, especially to young people who might be more impressionable than others.

  40. Peanut says:

    I am an avid Williams fan so yes I’ll always be biased but I agree with the possibility of almost glorifying his end. That being said Robin Williams was a extremely funny soul with a huge success and a beautiful family but he was still in pain not the way I would choose to deal but at least he hurts no more…

  41. I’ve been wondering all day how many people have committed suicide since the news broke.

  42. Josh says:

    There’s always one group of overly sensitive idiots that make this about something totally different. Do you not have anything better to do, AFSP? These tweets aren’t about celebrating a suicide, only an absolute moron would think that. It’s about celebrating Robin’s life and mourning his passing. Anything else is just self serving, attention whoring propaganda. The votes say it all, at 80% not having an issue with this. Ugh, so not impressed with the idiots at the AFSP.

  43. TenDeuChen says:

    Everyone has the right to self-determination. While Robin’s suicide is terrible and extremely sad, it was his choice and probably not just some spur of the moment decision. He had probably been considering it for a long time. None of us know how he thought or felt, and it’s selfish of us to think that he should have to continue trying to carry on his battle against his pain just because it hurts us to lose him. Whatever pain any of us feel because of his decision pales in comparison to what he must have been going through. All we can do is remember him for who he was and what he meant to everyone.

  44. Krista says:

    I don’t find it the least bit offensive. Although suicide is often time viewed as “selfish” and “the easy way out”, truth of the matter is that people, Robin included, were unhappy and suffering from an illness. He is now free from those demons.

  45. Fenrir says:

    Hell, I have the same disorder and have tried twice. I don’t find this offensive in the least. It’s touching. Lighten up, humans. I don’t think this is holding suicide in any light, it’s strictly a sentimental goodbye to a wonderful man.

  46. PETER says:

    They should have thought this one out fully and looked at the entire picture first and not gone with it’s cuteness. Their message is that suicide is an option to free yourself from problems. But Robin Williams isn’t free; he’s dead!

    • Ray says:

      He certainly is free of this life. No doubt, his soul will be reborn and so the cycle continues.

    • I agree. It wasn’t thought out. I don’t think they meant it to be offensive, but it treats depression and suicide too lightly. He’s gone by his own hand and it’s heartbreaking.

      • Josh says:

        And every scientist, or anyone with a brain doesn’t believe that, Paula. This isn’t a religious thing, so save it. Physicists say energy is never lost, only transferred. According to the laws of energy, he’ll never be gone.

    • Gene says:

      Considering he had to sue Disney to get paid for what he is worth for that role, it’s probably not the best choice since it probably cause a sad man a lot of self worth and esteem issues.

      • So sad that he had to sue Disney to get paid what he was worth for that role, but he was right to do it. He stood up for himself, and anytime we stand up for ourselves, it should increase our self-worth, self-esteem, and confidence, especially if we win! It’s still a stressful ordeal to stand up for ourselves, but we must do it. It’s just heartbreaking that he committed suicide. I’m very sad about it. My heart goes out to his family and close friends. Our society needs to become more educated about mental health issues, depression in particular, we need to be more open about it and try to understand more about it, and we need to have more conversations about it until the stigma goes away.

  47. vwonka says:

    I doubt the tweet was “celebrating” his suicide in any way. For me, it meant: “we’re sad to see you go, but we hope you’re free from your problems, your pain and your worries, at last”.

    It was a goodbye message, nothing more. I don’t see the reason behind creating controversy just for the sake of it.

    • Ruth Ann says:

      Ruth Ann Myers says:

      August 14, 2014 at 10:36 am

      For those who don’t understand Robin Williams actions: (Not saying I know this is how he felt but I bet I am on the right track.)

      It is not easy when you are supposed to be this person that makes people laugh and does it wonderfully, but truthfully inside you really don’t feel happy and because you do not feel happy, you get trapped in your mind with this incredible sense of helplessness. The reason you feel so helpless and lonely is because you can’t talk to anyone because they expect you to be funny not down and sad. It is a very hard HARD thing to get past. And sooo you withdraw and don’t call the people who love you because they think it is easy for you to talk like normal, just snap out of and continue making people laugh when you DON’T want to. They want you to be happy and help but they don’t truly understand how deep this feeling goes. The loneliness sets in and the bathroom or somewhere else where you can cry by yourself is always there for you. Unfortunately, so are your thoughts. Have you ever cried so much, there was no salt left in your tears? Believe me it hurts…, deep deep deep down inside…you really do feel there is no one to talk to and life just sucks for whatever reason. Robin William’s was no coward or selfish….his head wouldn’t stop zipping back and forth and give him any kind of peace….he didn’t know what to do. Counseling is available and somewhat helpful and he DID try but when you hurt sooooo much, you really don’t know what to do anymore!! I know that feeling. For the ones that don’t understand, please give Robin Williams a break….he didn’t do this to ANYONE, he did it to himself. Depression is ugly and it can’t always be controlled. I love you Robin Williams. I get it!! I am sorry your zipping head took control of you. …you will definitely be missed.😚😚😚😇😇😇😇😇💔✌

    • Sister Wolf says:

      You don’t see the reason because you haven’s studied suicide or the protocols for reporting on suicide. You can go and educate yourself though. http://www.afsp.org/

      • At vwonka – please explain what you mean when you say, “I’ve struggled with suicide all my life.” Please explain what that means. I want to understand your perspective. Did you struggle with it personally, or were you affected by it because of others in your life? Do you suffer with depression or another mental or emotional illness? I hope that if you or anyone else ever struggles with the idea of suicide, that you or others will dismiss it, pause, wait, and remember that even if you experience a dark moment, a dark hour, a dark day, that if you hang in there, just one more moment, one more hour, one more day, things may turn around and seem so different. You may see or experience the next moment, the next hour, the next day of joy or something new and positive that you may’ve missed if you (or anyone else, I’m speaking about any person in general) give in to the darkness and make a choice that’s final and irreversable. Prayers for you and others afflicted with struggling with the idea of suicide. Just don’t let it be a choice to be made.

      • vwonka says:

        Thank you, Sister Wolf, but perhaps it’s a matter of perspective. I’ve struggled with suicide all my life, and I did not see it as an invitation for me to kill myself. Perhaps others do, although I, personally, can’t see why.

  48. Shelley says:

    I did NOT find it one bit offensive.
    =^-^=

  49. Sister Wolf says:

    They are absolutely right. How stupid of you to mock the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. They know more than you. Do not characterize death by suicide as ‘freedom.’ Thanks.

    • Josh says:

      But he is free now. He’s not dealing with any of his problems. Hence, death = free.

    • I agree. It’s just so sad that any human being is in such great mental and/or emotional pain that they feel that they have to take their own life, that they feel that there is no alternative to stop the pain. We need to do more as a society to really care for others, to educate ourselves and others regarding mental health issues. More people are affected than we realize, but are too embarrassed to let on. The stigma needs to disappear.

More Film News from Variety

Loading