Robin Williams’ shocking suicide has presented an opportunity for a lot of people to say the wrong thing. Others are struggling with the lost opportunity to make amends. On his Tuesday show, Howard Stern expressed his deep regret at how he treated Williams years ago.
Back in those days I really felt [that] I wasn’t being malicious, but I felt a lot of pressure when a guest would come in,” Stern told listeners. “I never could give the microphone fully over to a guest and even allow my curiosity about a person [to] come through … Anyone who was in my studio was just a prop for me … I was a bit of an asshole in a lot of ways with guests. I wasn’t rude with Robin Williams, but I asked some questions that perhaps went into areas that he had enough of … I think my whole demeanor and attitude was just shitty. I wasn’t trying to be mean to Robin Williams. I was just trying to be provocative and interesting for the audience, and doing what it is that I thought had to be done. And I was an immature asshole. And so that always haunted me … and then I kind of filed it away and forgot about it.
Stern also added that, on the day of Williams’s death, he was actually going to reach out to the actor – not to get him on the show. He just wanted to apologize. “This was a guy who should have been celebrated…”
It’s hard to find the silver lining in anyone’s suicide, let alone that of a beloved actor and comedian. But maybe these posthumous apologies can inspire us to be a little nicer to each other – before it’s too late.
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