Kiss frontman Gene Simmons is under fire for some harsh comments he made about suicide and depression two weeks before Robin Williams took his own life due to depression. Simmons is now apologizing for those comments, in light of the suicide of the beloved actor and comedian. On his Facebook page, Simmons called his comments "wrong and in the spur of the moment ... [and] made without regard for those who truly suffer the struggles of depression."
The Kiss singer originally told Songfacts:
Drug addicts and alcoholics are always: 'The world is a harsh place.' My mother was in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. I don't want to hear ... all about 'the world as a harsh place.' She gets up every day, smells the roses and loves life. And for a putz, 20-year-old kid to say, 'I'm depressed, I live in Seattle.' ... then kill yourself.
... I always call them on their bluff. I'm the guy who says 'Jump!' when there's a guy on top of a building who says, 'That's it, I can't take it anymore, I'm going to jump. Are you kidding? Why are you announcing it? Shut up, have some dignity and jump! You've got the crowd.
Clearly, Simmons has never had to struggle with the demon of depression, and for that he should be grateful. It also appears that no one he truly loves has ever had to deal with it either, or perhaps he would have some more compassion. He is, of course, entitled to his opinion. Unfortunately, it is opinions like his that make it more difficult for people who live under a dark cloud to come forward, admit it, and seek help.
Simmons, under fire after the suicide of Williams, posted a lengthy apology to his Facebook page, in which he seems to have had a change of heart, saying:
I recognize that depression is very serious and very sad when it happens to anyone, especially loved ones. I deeply support and am empathetic to anyone suffering from any disease, especially depression.
For those who do not suffer from depression and have never suffered from it, it is indeed a baffling disease to behold. Someone like Robin Williams, so beloved and admired, someone with family, a wife, success, riches, and everything that anyone seems to strive for to bring happiness, to kill himself, has brought it home for a lot of people just how serious this disease is, and how helpless someone can feel when he or she is in the grip of it.
I'm glad Simmons has realized his error.
What do you think about what he said?
Image via Gene Simmons/Facebook