CBS is under fire Wednesday after interviewing a man who attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings with Robin Williams. On Tuesday, CBS This Morning aired a brief interview with a San Francisco photographer named Dean Kendrick, who talks about Williams’ behavior and demeanor in the anonymous meetings.
Kendrick happens to work for the CBS news affiliate in San Francisco.
“He was one of the very first to raise his hand and open himself to vulnerability but he really, really needed support at the time,” Kendrick said of Williams, as a private photo of the two flashed across the screen.
A story on cbs.com goes more in depth about the interview, saying that Kendrick described Williams as “slow in his movements” and that his “demeanor was very low.”
“He was wanting to help people, but he himself needed more help than he could give,” Kendrick added, according to Mediaite.
Anonymity is one of the most crucial components of the AA meetings system, so the backlash for CBS was swift and immediate as many are saying that Williams is being exploited by the network. One comment on the story, written by someone using the name “In recovery for 18+ years,” read:
“Having a hard time letting this one go.
“Kendrick said after seeing Williams, he gave the actor his phone number for support. He only wishes he could have done more.”
It is too late for RW, but the more you could have done was not talked about what happens or was said or seen in a meeting for all the people struggling who consider walking in the door and now know, at least when you’re around, who you see there, what was said there doesn’t stay there. It is not being dramatic to suggest that you have created a ripple effect which could cost lives.
Maybe the more is next time [sic], keep you mouth closed.
Think about that one next time you are doing an Eighth and Ninth Step.”
What do you think? Was it unfair for CBS to interview this man? Let us know in the comments below!