It seems that after any unexpected death, there are a series of (inevitably) controversial comments—and such is the case following the tragic passing of Robin Williams.
Both Fox News anchor Shepard Smith and Diff'rent Strokes actor Todd Bridges have found themselves on the receiving end of criticism after the two expressed a series of insensitive comments about the legendary actor's death.
Just hours after it was revealed that the comedian was found dead at his Tiburon, Calif., home (the cause of death has since been determined as asphyxia due to hanging), the former Fox Report host called Williams a "coward" for taking his own life.
"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," he added before concluded. "Robin Williams, at 63, did that today."
The 50-year-old anchor, whose Wikipedia page has since been updated to say "David Shepard Smith, Jr. (born January 14, 1964) is an American television news anchor who called Robin Williams a coward," later apologized for his inconsiderate comments, telling TV Newser, "The last thing I would ever suggest about a man I know nothing about personally, is that he's a coward," he said. "That goes against everything I am. If those words, I used so innocently, offended his family, from the bottom of my heart, I could not be more sorry."
Smith certainly isn't the only one who has come under fire (and subsequently been forced to apologize) for his comments related to Williams' untimely death. Actor Todd Bridges took to Twitter just moments after the news of Williams' passing hit the web, calling the alleged suicide "a very selfish act."
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"It is a very selfish act you're not thinking about your family your friends or your fans," the 49-year-old actor wrote. "much better way get help or if you know someone like that get them help even if it means getting them locked up in a psychiatric hospital."
"Rest in peace Robin Williams I hope you found what you were looking for," he continued. "You don't think that my life has been hell and I've had so many ups and downs now. If I did that what am i showing my children that when it gets tough that's the way out No you gotta buckle down ask God to help you. That's when prayer really comes into effect."
Bridges has since removed the tweets from his page and issued a seemingly heartfelt apology. "I would like to apologize for the terrible timing of me comments that I made in reference to the untimely death of Robin Williams," he wrote. "my best friend committed suicide a few months ago, and I was devastated to discover that he did not solicit my help. I am sure that my attitude toward Williams's death was a delayed reaction of my best friend's death. Again, I apologize."
He concluded by adding, "Again, I apologize for my negative comment, and I ask forgiveness for any pain that I have caused anyone."
Williams was found unresponsive at his home on Monday by his personal assistant with "a belt secured around his neck," Marin County Sheriff's Lt. Keith Boyd told reporters in a press conference today.
The investigation is still ongoing, but the official cause of death has been revealed as "asphyxia due to hanging."
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).