Academy’s R. Williams Tweet Not Pro Suicide

I have often worried about the near-invisibility of suicide prevention in the public discourse. But this is one time in which I think those on the side virtue and true compassion got it wrong.

In the wake of Robin Williams’ suicide, the Academy of Motion Pictures sent out a Tweet. From the Variety story:

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.

That didn’t set well with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:

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.”

I think that’s a stretch..Cheap sentimentality in 140 or less characters, perhaps: That’s the bane of our times. But I don’t think the Tweet celebrates or glamorizes suicide.

If the American Foundation wants to do something valuable, how about a high-profile campaign against assisted suicide? That really pushes self destruction.

Alas, I have never seen the group oppose such blatant suicide promotion. Not only that, its web site is silent. Either that, or anti-euthanasia information is well hidden.  

So, in the face of real suicide celebration, all we get from the American Foundation is the sound of crickets. That’s known as dereliction of duty.

Wesley J. Smith — Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

Most Popular

Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More