The world lost one of its greatest comedic minds on Tuesday and it didn't take Fox News long before they started throwing slurs.
Late afternoon on Thursday the news came trickling in from various news sources and around social media. At the age of 63, Oscar winning comedian and actor, Robin Williams was found dead at his home outside of San Francisco, California. The cause of death is an alleged suicide by asphyxiation.
Williams had been public about his battles with alcohol addiction and depression, and the disease finally took its toll on the late great actor. While love for Williams has been pouring out from friends, family and fans over the last 24 hours, one host on Fox News decided to take the story in a different direction, labeling Williams a "coward" for allegedly committing suicide. During a broadcast on Fox News Tuesday night, Shepard Smith was that person.
"One of the children he so loved, one of the children grieving tonight...Because their father killed himself in a fit of depression...It’s hard to imagine, isn’t it? 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.”
Alcoholism and depression are both a disease that grips up, takes a toll on you and even when you think you have it beat, can creep back and attack. "It's not caused by anything, it's just there, it waits," Williams stated during an interview with "Good Morning America" in 2010. "It lays in wait for the time when you think, 'It's fine now, I'm OK.' Then, the next thing you know, it's not OK. Then you realize, 'Where am I? I didn't realize I was in Cleveland.'"
The disease is a serious condition and for any news anchor to exploit this just shows a level of professionalism that shouldn't be tolerated.
(UPDATE 4:00pm : In a statement to Mediaite, Smith released a statement apologizing for his comments with clarification.
"I was sorry to read online the people who see the world in a black-and-white way, and to suggest that they might have a definitive analysis of why he did such a thing. What I wanted to do is celebrate his life and find some meaning in our own lives, since we often do know someone who is reaching out, and we have a responsibility to help that person — maybe a phone call or a door knock is in order.
But no matter how you process it: Look at what this family is going through. I would never presume to know anything about his private life. And if any of his family members and friends were to have seen me use the word “coward,” I would be horrified. I would just to apologize to the end of the earth to anyone who might think that I meant to openly call him a coward.
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.")