The Industry Killed Robin Williams

Cast member Robin Williams gestures next to co-star Sarah Michelle Gellar at a panel for the television series "The Crazy Ones" during the CBS portion of the Television Critics Association Summer press tour in Beverly Hills, California July 29, 2013. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
“Don’t follow those lying liars in Hollywood. Once they kill your soul, they are going to throw you out in a dumpster somewhere. I was one of their victims.”

…by Jonas E. Alexis


Something really tragic happened in the summer of last year. Robin Williams—who has been called a “brilliantly funny” actor, “a lightning storm of comic genius,” a “prodigiously talented” person, and “the funniest man alive”[1]—committed suicide. He basically hanged himself. Williams seemed to have been contemplating suicide for a long time. Back in 2006, he told ABC News:

“You’re standing at a precipice and you look down, there’s a voice and it’s a little quiet voice that goes, ‘Jump.’”[2]

Why would the “funniest man alive” and “a comic genius” want to end his life? Why did this Academy Award-winning and a well-loved actor think that committing suicide was the only way out of his prison? Could it be that Williams, like many other Hollywood celebrities, was a morally tormented soul who could not make heads or tails of the real world (namely the moral and social order and its application to real life) and the fantasy world (Hollywood’s promiscuous lifestyle)?

Well, the best way to answer the last question is by looking at the fruit of Williams’ labor in Hollywood. Eight years after he did the interview with ABC News, Williams, who lived an existential life throughout much of his career,[3] tragically made the “jump.”

This brings us to a crucial point. If one ought to judge a tree by the fruit that it produces, then Williams was invariably playing dice with his own death in his movies. He would not be the only person to do so. David Cronenberg had this to say about his movies a few years ago:

“Every time I kill someone in my movie, I’m rehearsing my own death….It’s a really complex process, but I’m responding to things in my own life, so on one level it’s all personal stuff. It’s an existential truth, it’s very raw and real.”

In 2013, Cronenberg was still advocating the view that he was releasing his own death in his movies.[4] “Suicide,” he said then, is “a fantastic exit.”[5]

Probably Robin Williams would not have taken that “fantastic exit” had he not prostrated before the Dreadful Few in Hollywood.

No Hollywood actors, directors or producers seemed to have cared for Williams’ wellbeing during his hard time. But when poor Williams finally made the “jump,” actors and actresses began to care. They were lining up like chickens to eulogize Williams—the dead body, of course.[6]

Dan Harris of ABC News called Williams “a true American original.”[7] Steve Martin declared then, “I could not be more stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul.” John Travolta said,

“He loved us all and we loved him back…he had only the best things to say about people and we are all better for having known him!”

CNN declared that Williams “first made America laugh and eventually touched ‘every element of the human spirit’ in a remarkable range of performances…”[8] Lena Dunham, the female clown who usually gets her seasonal fame by posing topless and who received $3.7 million from Random House for writing a book on sex and traveling,[9] said,

“Just shared a moment of silence on the set for Robin Williams, a man who brought so much laughter, joy and healing to so many.”[10]

Ben Stiller, who looks like Sam Harris, twitted then: “A tweet cannot begin to describe the hugeness of Robin William’s heart and soul and talent. This is so sad.”[11] Lindsay Lohan, who has recently “run around naked at millionaire’s Italian’s wedding,”[12] added:

“Mr. Williams visited me the first day of filming The Parent Trap. I will never forget his kindness. What an enormous loss. My condolences.”[13]

“Masters of sex”[14] Sarah Silverman—who (according to Jewish scholar Josh Lambert) is “challenging America’s powerful religious, family-friendly culture and asserting” her “Jewishness by glorifying obscenity”[15]—agreed:

“Oh no this is terrible. By all accounts he was pure love.”[16]

Williams would not have been “pure love” had he exposed “The Industry” for what it truly is: a Hollywood club that sucks the moral and spiritual life out of actors and actresses and spits those celebrities out when they can no longer produce what Christ calls Mammon.

Moreover, one has to prostrate before the “polite” people who control “The Industry” in order to make it big. British journalist William Cash noted:

“Bill Stadiem, a former Harvard educated Wall Street lawyer who is now a screenwriter in LA, told me that he recently came across an old WASP friend in LA restaurant who had been president of the Porcellian at Harvard—the most exclusive undergraduate dining-club. His friend—a would-be producer—was dressed in a black nylon tracksuit and had gold chains on his wrist; dangling around his neck was a chunky Start of David. Stadiem asked: ‘Why the hell are you dressed like that?’ The WASP replied: ‘I’m trying to look Jewish.’”[17]

Williams, like many other Goyim, had to do just that. Williams called himself an “Honorary Jew”[18] and even thought about becoming a Rabbi.[19] Members of the Dreadful Few welcomed him in their midst.[20] The Times of Israel said that

“many of his skits channeled a stereotypical elderly Jewish lady, or alternatively, a New York rabbi. The legendary performer also played several Jewish, or at least Jewish-inspired, characters, most notably Tommy Wilhelm, in a cinematic adaptation of Saul Bellow’s Seize the Day.

“Williams posted a picture on Twitter showing him with a white yarmulke on his head, while on set of the CBS TV show ‘The Crazy Ones.’”[21]

Williams’ fellow comedian and manager for thirty-five years was none other than David Steinberg. “Born the son of Yasha, a strict, Romanian-born rabbi, and Ruth Steinberg in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, David initially studied theology in Israel.”

When Williams died, Steinberg said: “Nobody made the world laugh like Robin Williams. My brother, my friend, my soul-mate, I will miss you.”[22]

So, one can say that Williams sold his sold his sold for money, power and fame. It was inevitable, then, that he dropped his moral sense and adopt a new lifestyle which eventually made him spiritually empty. It was no accident that Williams descended into a Crowleyan world of drugs and alcohol, which also led him into places that he probably did not want to go. Williams had this to say about his own acting:

“Yeah! Literally, it’s like possession ‑ all of a sudden you’re in, and because it’s in front of a live audience, you just get this energy that just starts going…But there’s also that thing ‑ it is possession. In the old days you’d be burned for it…

“But there is something empowering about it. I mean, it is a place where you are totally ‑ it is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, where you really can become this other force. Maybe that’s why I don’t need to play evil characters [in movies], ’cause sometimes onstage you can cross that line and come back.”[23]

US Weekly acknowledged back in 1999:

“With a gift for mimicry and improvisation that verged on demonic possession, Williams could even approach the artistry of his idol Jonathan Winters—a man whose genius took him, once or twice, over the edge into mental illness. Williams’ own version of hell has been extensively chronicled.”[24]

By the time Williams got to the top, Biographer Emily Herbert tells us that his “ongoing battles with drink, drugs and depression were increasingly known but, to the astonishment of many, it now emerged that he might have been experiencing serious financial concerns as well.”[25]

“The Industry,” as we have already suggested, is based on Mammon, which is to say that people ought to be used not as ends but as instruments or subjects. Williams was one of those subjects. When he became a major Hollywood A-lister, “The Industry” applauded him and gave him great accolades. In fact, Williams “had won numerous accolades, including two SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Awards.”[26]

Then things started to deteriorate. A Williams movie, according to some critics, began to be seen as the butt of a joke. This led Williams to depression. “Although his name was as famous as ever, the major roles weren’t coming his way in quite manner they once did.”[27] On top of that, “it seemed that the financial difficulties were pretty severe. ‘All he could talk about were serious money troubles.’”[28] As a result, Williams began to play mediocre roles.

“There was also frustration that Robin expressed at having to take television and movie roles he didn’t want to take, but had for the paycheck. Stories began to emerge that he was so worried about money that he had even started to sell off his beloved fifty-strong bicycle collection.”[29]

So, “The Industry” abandoned Williams in time of troubles. He said of his movies one year before he committed suicide, “The movies are good, but a lot of times they don’t even have distribution. There are bills to pay.”[30] Once movies began to go down the tube, Williams went back to alcohol and drugs, which again got morphed into depression.

“He was on medication for anxiety and depression and had also started taking drugs to combat the early onset of Parkinson’s. Many of these drugs list suicidal thoughts as a possible side effect. A lot of Robin’s friends are convinced that the cocktail of prescription pills he was on somehow contributed to his mental state deteriorating as quickly as it did.”[31]

Williams gave “The Industry” all his energy, but he probably did not count the cost. “It was his manic side that fuelled his comedy but it was that same side that made him incapable of finding peace.”[32]

Williams’ descent into madness started in 2004, when his “once-rock solid marriage” began to fall apart. This quickly led to drugs and alcohol, and as the old saying goes, once you open the floodgate, you can never tell the water where to land:

“I just thought, hey, maybe drinking will help. Because I felt alone and afraid. It was that thing of working so much, and going fu$k, maybe that will help. And it was the worst thing in the world. You feel warm and kind and wonderful. And then the next thing you know, it’s a problem, and you’re isolated….

“My film career was not going too well. One day I walked into a store and saw a little bottle of Jack Daniel’s. And then that voice—I call it the ‘lower power’—goes, ‘Hey. Just a taste. Just one.’ I drank it, and there was that brief moment of ‘Oh, I’m okay!’ But it escalated so quickly. Within a week, I was buying so many bottles I sounded like a wind chime walking down the street.”[33]

Herbert says that “In actual fact, what really started the initial relapse were concerns about his career. He could scarcely ignore the fact that his films were getting terrible reviews, with a lot of them not doing well at the box office either.”

Herbert dropped the atomic bomb by saying:

“Hollywood could forgive any amount, of sentimentality but it would not accept failure and that was what he was really beginning to fear. It had happened to countless others, after all. Yet another of the stresses about being an A-lister is that, when you reach the top, there’s an awfully long way to fall down. Nor is there any lack of distractors happy to kick you as you do so.”[34]

What we are seeing here is that “The Industry” isolated Williams from the world of reality and moved him to a fantasy world which the Dreadful Few have carefully constructed to distract everyone from thinking about serious issues such as the question of origin, morality, meaning, and destiny.


Williams, of course, is hardly the only person to feel that he was abandoned by Hollywood. As we have seen in the past, Keanu Reeves felt the same way. More recently, the Daily Mail had this to say about Kirsten Dunst:

“She’s worked in Hollywood for most of her life, starting modelling at age three and acting at age six. Now at age 33, Kirsten Dunst is looking back on her acting successes and hard times for the September issue of Town & Country magazine. Specifically of her rehab treatment in 2008, the actress diagnosed her depression as a cause of ‘totally ridiculous expectations people put on actors.’

“Kirsten voluntarily checked herself into the Cirque Lodge treatment center in Utah when she was 27-years-old for depression amid rumours of drug and alcohol abuse. ‘What people expect of an actor is totally ridiculous,’ she told the publication.

“’It’s unfair that an artist is expected to speak really well in public and have skin tough enough to withstand sometimes really hurtful criticism, but also, in order to do the job, be really sensitive and in touch with their feelings.’”[35]

Numerous actors would concur. John Cusack, who has recently played in David Cronenberg’s Maps of the Stars, admitted:

“The culture just eats young actors up and spits them out. It’s a hard thing to survive without finding safe harbour.”[36]

Hollywood, Cusack continued, is “a whore house and people go mad.”[37] “Movie business,” concluded Cusack, “sucks most of the time.”[38]

Julianne Moore, who has a habit of prostituting herself for money, power and fame, would agree: “The longer you live [in the industry], the more empty you become, until there comes a point when you just implode.”[39] Moore, according to the Guardian, “warns us that Hollywood is a cesspool, that nepotism stinks and that the film industry breeds devils.”[40]

Again, the logic here is pretty clear: “The Industry” is a big vampire squid that sucks the life out of people and then throw them out when they are no longer useful. Anne Hathaway seems to be picking that up very quickly.

“Anne Hathaway, 32, Is Already Losing Roles to Younger Actresses, originally appeared on In Hollywood, 32 is apparently over the hill. In Glamour U.K’s October issue, Anne Hathaway reveals how she’s already losing out on roles to younger actresses.

“‘I can’t complain about it because I benefited from it,’ Hathaway says. ‘When I was in my early 20s, parts would be written for women in their 50s, and I would get them. And now I’m in my early 30s, and I’m like, ‘Why did that 24-year-old get that part?’”

All of these people should have listened to DMX , who said:

“The Industry: it doesn’t have to do with talent; it’s about playing the game. The Industry: money, bitches, hate…The Industry—if you ain’t got a strong mind—will break you down, [and] it’s a matter of time. They want you to dress like this and talk like that…The industry vultures with nothing to feast on…The Industry plays in the dirt, stays in the dirt—test the wrong one in the industry and you will get hurt.

“The industry wanted, dead or alive, new artists to sell their souls…to survive. The Industry don’t give a fu$k about you! But the industry couldn’t make a dime without you!”

[1] Mikhail Lyubansky, “Robin Williams and the Mask of Humor,” Psychology Today, August 11, 2014; Ryan Parker, Steven Zetchik, and Lauren Raab, “Robin Williams dies in apparent suicide; actor, comic was 63,” LA Times, August 11, 2014; Joanna Robinson, “Robin Williams’s Thoughts on Death and the Afterlife Are Strangely Comforting,” Vanity Fair, August 12, 2014; Nolan Feeney, “Actor Robin Williams Dies at 63,” Time, August 11, 2014.

[2] Ryan Parker, Steven Zetchik, and Lauren Raab, “Robin Williams dies in apparent suicide; actor, comic was 63,” LA Times, August 11, 2014.

[3] Williams, according to Vanity Fair, “found both paradise and darkness here on earth.” Robinson, “Robin Williams’s Thoughts on Death and the Afterlife Are Strangely Comforting,” Vanity Fair, August 12, 2014.

[4] Henry Barnes, “David Cronenberg: ‘I never thought of myself as a prophet,’” Guardian, September 8, 2015 12, 2013.

[5] Ibid.

[6] See for example Abid Rahman, “International Celebrities React to the Death of Robin Williams,” Hollywood Reporter, August 12, 2014.

[7] I am simply is at loss trying to figure out what exactly that means. So, in order to be a “true American original,” does a person have to take drugs for years and then commit suicide in the end? Does he have to be depressed for years, as Williams was? Does he pretentiously have to bring “laughter” to others while he is sad and unhappy about life and meaning? Does he have to join other Hollywood celebrities such as Heath Ledger? How about David Carradine? Or Kurt Cobain?

[8] Alan Duke, “Robin Williams dead; family, friends and fans are ‘totally devastated,’” CNN, August 12, 2014; John Cook, “Here Is Lena Dunham’s $3.7 Million Book Proposal,” Gawker, December 7, 2012.

[9] Cavan Sieczkowski, “Lena Dunham Poses Topless In Nipple Pasties Ahead Of The Golden Globes,” Huffington Post, January 12, 2015; Alexander Nazaryan, “Lena Dunham sells book for $3.7 million,” NY Daily News, October 8, 2012; Jen Chaney, “Lena Dunham reportedly scored more than $3.5 million in book deal,” Washington Post, October 8, 2012.

[10] Sasha Goldstein, “Robin Williams dead at 63: Oscar-winning actor’s co-stars, celebs mourn on Twitter,” NY Daily News, August 13, 2014.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Nina Golgowski, “Lindsay Lohan ran around naked, claimed she was drugged at millionaire’s Italian wedding: report,” NY Daily News, August 28, 2015.

[13] Goldstein, “Robin Williams dead at 63: Oscar-winning actor’s co-stars, celebs mourn on Twitter,” NY Daily News, August 13, 2014.

[14] Andrea Morabito, “Sarah Silverman returning to ‘Masters of Sex,’” NY Daily News, June 25, 2015.

[15] Josh Lambert, “’Dirty Jews’ and the Christian Right,” Haaretz, February 3, 2014.

[16] Goldstein, “Robin Williams dead at 63: Oscar-winning actor’s co-stars, celebs mourn on Twitter,” NY Daily News, August 13, 2014.

[17] Cited in E. Michael Jones, The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit and Its Impact on World History (South Bend: Fidelity Press, 2008), 1035.

[18] “‘Honorary Jew’ Robin Williams, 63, found dead,” Times of Israel, August 12, 2014.

[19] Lauren Izso, “Robin Williams reveals his rabbi alter-ego, kind of,” Jerusalem Post, March 4, 2014; Lazar Berman, “Robin Williams dons yarmulke,” Times of Israel, March 4, 2014.

[20] Stewart Weiss, “Robin Williams – and us,” Jerusalem Post, August 13, 2014.

[21] “‘Honorary Jew’ Robin Williams, 63, found dead,” Times of Israel, August 12, 2014.

[22] Quoted in Emily Herbert, Robins Williams: When the Laughter Stops, 1951-2014 (London: John Blake, 2014), kindle edition.

[23] Quoted in James Kaplan, “Robin Williams,” US Weekly, January 1999.

[24] Herbert, Robins Williams, kindle edition.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Ibid.

[35] “Kirsten Dunst reveals she went to rehab after the ‘totally ridiculous’ pressures of being a Hollywood actress led to depression,” Daily Mail, August 6, 2015.

[36] Quoted in Henry Barnes, “John Cusack: ‘Hollywood is a whorehouse and people go mad,’” Guardian, September 25, 2014.

[37] Ibid.

[38] Ibid.

[39] Quoted in Xan Brooks, “Julianne Moore on Maps to the Stars: ‘The longer you live the Hollywood lifestyle, the more empty you become,’” Guardian, May 22, 2014.

[40] Ibid.


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Jonas E. Alexis has degrees in mathematics and philosophy. He studied education at the graduate level. His main interests include U.S. foreign policy, the history of the Israel/Palestine conflict, and the history of ideas. He is the author of the new book Zionism vs. the West: How Talmudic Ideology is Undermining Western Culture. He teaches mathematics in South Korea.