Henry Rollins Offers Apology for Column on Robin Williams and Suicide
Henry Rollins made headlines earlier this week, penning a column for LA Weekly in which he addressed his thoughts on suicide, the death of Robin Williams and his disdain for those who have taken their own lives.
As a refresher, Rollins started off by praising Williams as an actor/comedian and as a man for all the good he did over the years, but took exception with the actor’s decision to ultimately take his own life. Speaking on broader terms, Rollins stated, “I think as soon as you have children, you waive your right to take your own life. No matter what mistakes you make in life, it should be your utmost goal not to traumatize your kids. So don’t kill yourself.”
He went on to show a pretty good grasp of depression, explaining, “All that ‘I feel your pain’ stuff is bulls–t and disrespectful. You can appreciate it, listen and support someone as best you can, but you can’t understand it. Depression is so personal and so unique to each of us that when you’re in its teeth, you think you invented it. You can understand your own, but that’s it. When you are severely depressed, it can be more isolating than anything else you have ever experienced.”
But perhaps the commentary that may have most gotten him in trouble is when he mentioned, “When someone negates their existence, they cancel themselves out in my mind. I have many records, books and films featuring people who have taken their own lives, and I regard them all with a bit of disdain. When someone commits this act, he or she is out of my analog world. I no longer take this person seriously.”
The column, which can be read in full here, did raise quite a stir and Rollins took his fair share of heat for his commentary. Understanding that he “caused a lot of hurt,” the rocker has now offered an apology. It reads as follows:
August 22 2014
For the last 9+ hours, I have been answering letters from people from all over the world. The anger is off the scale and in my opinion, well placed.
The article I wrote in the LA Weekly about suicide caused a lot of hurt. This is perhaps one of the bigger understatements of all time. I read all the letters. Some of them were very long and the disappointment, resentment and ringing clarity was jarring.
That I hurt anyone by what I said, and I did hurt many, disgusts me. It was not at all my intent but it most certainly was the result.
I have had a life of depression. Some days are excruciating. Knowing what I know and having been through what I have, I should have known better but I obviously did not. I get so mad when I hear that someone has died this way. Not mad at them, mad at whatever got them there and that no one magically appeared to somehow save them.
I am not asking for a break from the caning, take me to the woodshed as much as you see fit. If what I said has caused you to be done with me, I get it.
I wrote something for the LA Weekly that they will post on Monday.
I wanted to get this out at this moment.
I am deeply sorry. Down to my marrow. I can’t think that means anything to you, but I am. Completely sorry. It is not of my interest to hurt anyone but I know I did. Thank you for reading this. Henry
So there you have it. Rollins has offered his apology, stated a little bit on where his stance came from and has owned up to his words, willing to take on the criticism for his commentary.