Gene Simmons: ‘I Deeply Support’ Those Suffering From Depression
KISS' Gene Simmons has been under some fire after a recent interview he gave came off as very unsympathetic toward people dealing with depression. The story took on some steam when Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx picked up the comments and blasted Simmons for his stance during a segment on Sixx's 'Sixx Sense' radio show.
To refresh, Simmons had started talking about people with drug addiction and alcoholics and along the way he lumped in people dealing with suicidal thoughts. Simmons had stated, "For a putz 20-year-old to say, 'I'm depressed. I live in Seattle.' F-- 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--- up, have some dignity and jump."
Of course those comments stirred up a reaction, with Sixx stating on his radio show, "To be honest with you, I like Gene. But in this situation, I don’t like Gene. I don’t like Gene’s words, because … there is a 20-year-old kid out there who is a KISS fan and reads this and goes, ‘You know what? He’s right. I should just kill myself.’” Sixx, who has had his own personal demons over the years, went on to state that there is a way out of it and that it is not uncommon for people to go through depression at one point in their life. He accentuated the "one point in your life" comment, adding that it means that it will come and it will go.
Simmons has now attempted to clarify his comments in a new Facebook posting. His post reads as follows:
Depression is very serious and very sad when it happens to anyone, especially loved ones.
I have not commented on various allegations made in the media, but I want to make this statement for the record and to clarify.
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 intentions in speaking very directly and perhaps politically-incorrectly about drug use and alcoholics have been misconstrued as vile commentary on depression.
Unkind statements about depression was certainly never my intention.
And I do not intend to defend myself here and now by listing the myriad charities and self-help organizations I am involved with.
This is not about me. This is about clearing up misconceptions and being clear. My heart goes out to anyone suffering from depression.
So there you have it. Simmons stands behind his anti drug and alcohol stance, but feels his discussion of those with depression has been misconstrued and was not his intent.
Meanwhile, a few radio stations in Australia have banned KISS' music after Simmons initial comments. The Triple M broadcasting company in Australia felt that Simmons comments were "misguided and insensitive." Triple M network chief Mike Fitzpatrick stated, "His desperation to use mental health issues to find relevancy in a modern age is sickening. I can only put it down to a brain fade on his part." It is not known if Simmons' new clarification has done anything to assuage the boycott.
Update: Gene Simmons has posted a second statement via the KISS Facebook page:
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.