Gene Simmons has made a rare apology for comments about depression he made in an interview with Songfacts from earlier this week. In the interview, he said, “For a putz, 20-year-old kid to say, ’I’m depressed, I live in Seattle.’ Fuck you, then kill yourself. I never understand, because I always call them on their bluff. I’m the guys 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 fuck up, have some dignity and jump! You’ve got the crowd.” Yesterday, he clarified his remarks and apologized in a Facebook post: “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.” Here’s the original comment that got him in trouble and his response to the backlash:
Songfacts: Do you still get along with the original guys?
Gene: No, I don’t get along with anybody who’s a drug addict and has a dark cloud over their head and sees themselves as a victim. Drug addicts and alcoholics are always: “The world is a harsh place.” My mother was in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. I don’t want to hear fuck all about “the world as a harsh place.” She gets up every day, smells the roses and loves life. And for a putz, 20-year-old kid to say, “I’m depressed, I live in Seattle.” Fuck 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 fuck up, have some dignity and jump! You’ve got the crowd.
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 fuckin’ head off!” He’ll go, “Please don’t!” It’s true. He’s not that insane.
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 is known for making outrageous statements. Just this month, he discussed why he didn’t approve of feminism on a Fox News show: “Feminism should start and stop at earning capacity, not social, sort of, environment [things] and the difference between feminine and masculine and stuff like that.” He was called out for his comments by the Black Lips on HuffPost Live earlier this week. During that same interview, he also expressed his views on immigration, which came down to, “Learn to speak goddamn English.” No apologies have been issued for those comments yet.
[Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty.]