The world is in mourning today after the suspected suicide of beloved entertainment legend Robin Williams. Social networks are blanketed with tributes to his incredible talent, condolences to his family and friends, and reflections on depression and mental illness.
But closeted gay Fox News anchor Shepard Smith isn't sympathetic. Instead, he called Williams a "coward" for committing suicide last night, just hours after the world learned the news of Williams's death.
Raw Story reports:
At the conclusion of a touching special report that aired just hours after Williams died, Smith seemed to become almost angry while thinking about the actor's children.
The Fox News host noted that Williams had once told a story about his daughter, Zelda, who asked him to read a book to her in his normal voice.
"One of the children he so loved, one of the children grieving tonight," Smith said. "Because their father killed himself in a fit of depression."
"It's hard to imagine, isn't it?" he continued. "You could love three little things so much, watch them grow, they're in their mid-20s, and they're inspiring you, and exciting you, and they fill you up with the kind of joy you could never have known."
"And yet, something inside you is so horrible or you're such a coward or whatever the reason that you decide that you have to end it. Robin Williams, at 63, did that today."
Of course, suicide is not an act of cowardice or selfishness, but a heart-wrenching result of severe mental illness. Shame on Shepard Smith for blaming the victim and perpetuating the stigma around this frequently misunderstood topic.
UPDATE: Smith gave the following explanation and apology to Mediaite in response to the backlash:
"I spent an entire hour talking about how much this man affected people's lives and brought greatness to this world," he said. "I was just wondering aloud what could have made this man want to end it all. And it reminds us that we all have responsibility as friends and neighbors to help take responsibility to prevent this from happening."
"To the core of my being, I regret it. It just came out of my mouth. And I'm so sorry. And to anyone and their families who see that, I am sorry."
h/t: Joe. My. God.