Gene Simmons has apologized for telling people with depression to kill themselves during a recent interview.
The former KISS rocker had told SongFacts.com:
For a putz 20-year-old kid to say, ‘I’m depressed. I live in Seattle.’ F**k you, then kill yourself. I never understand, because 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 the f**k up, have some dignity and jump! You’ve got the crowd,” Simmons said. “By the way, you walk up to the same guy on a ledge who threatens to jump and put a gun to his head, ‘I’m going to blow your f**kin’ head off.’ He’ll go, ‘Please don’t.’ It’s true. He’s not that insane.
Simmons had based his remarks on the fact that his mother was in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany and so he doesn’t like hearing people say that ‘the world is a harsh place.’
But on Friday, Simmons took to Facebook to clarify his remarks and apologize.
Here is his full statement:
I want to make this statement about my views on depression for the record and to clarify my prior remarks.
To the extent my comments reported by the media speak of depression, I was wrong and in the spur of the moment made remarks that in hindsight were made without regard for those who truly suffer the struggles of depression. I sincerely apologize to those who were offended by my comments. 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.
I have never sugarcoated my feelings regarding drug use and alcoholics. Somewhere along the line, my intention of speaking in very directly and perhaps politically incorrectly about drug use and alcoholics has been misconstrued as vile commentary on depression. Unkind statements about depression was certainly never my intention. Fully, you will know that and I do not intend to defend myself here and now, by listing the myriad charities and self-help organizations I am involved with. Rather, I simply want to be clear that my heart goes out to anyone suffering from depression and I deeply regret any offhand remarks in the heat of an interview that might have suggested otherwise.
Simmons did not escape punishment for his remarks. According to FOX 411, many major radio stations from Canada, Australia and New York announced that they will no longer play KISS music on their airwaves.