Robin Williams’ name has been all over social media since his death on Monday.
He was such a beloved actor: everyone seems to have their favorite Robin Williams movie.
To find out that he committed suicide is tragic and heartbreaking. Many friends are sharing stories of loved ones they’ve lost or about their own struggles, reminding those who are dealing with depression that they aren’t alone.
But earlier today, an article caught my eye about the cause of Robin Williams’ death. I clicked on it because up until this point, the word “apparent” was still being used in conjunction with his death and I’ve seen how twitter/facebook can get things so wrong sometimes: not only the cause of death, but announcing the death of someone who is actually still alive.
Though when I clicked through, suicide was confirmed, as well as a very detailed description of how Robin Williams was found.
I read it, wondering why it is that we think we’re entitled to this information. Why it’s out there for public consumption.
Sure, we can all probably share a memory we have related to one of Robin Williams’ roles, but we’re not his family, not his friends, we haven’t met him in person.
It seems the type of information that should be just for his family; we don’t have a right to know.
Celebrities’ lives are out there, I get it. I even wrote for a celebrity column for a website for several months, though I tried to stick to reality show recaps/predictions as much as I could, really detesting myself any time I had to tread the line and write about a celebrity’s life, knowing I’d never do that about a “regular” person. Quitting that job gave me an enormous sense of relief.
But, I get it: the price of celebrity is losing a vast majority of your privacy. And writers need to keep their jobs, so they need to write articles that are requested of them, vying to be the first or the one sharing the most information to get the maximum amount of traffic.
Yet… I feel like there should be a line somewhere. A family going through heartbreak doesn’t need additional pain from having such intimate details shared with everyone: there are some things we don’t have a right to know.
What do you think? Do you think all the details should be shared in a situation like this or should the family be given some privacy?
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