Val Kilmer Calls Anthony Bourdain’s Suicide Selfish, Internet Has a Fit

Anthony Bourdain took his life today on June 8. The celebrity chef was beloved by many, including Barack Obama.

However, while most celebrated the life of Bourdain, ol’ Val Kilmer decided to bash him. The actor took to Facebook to share a lengthy post, admonishing Bourdain for committing suicide.

Oh the darkness.
Oh the dark thick pain of loss. The selfishness.
How many moments away were you from feeling the love that was universal. From every corner of the world you were loved. So selfish.

You’ve given us cause to be so angry. A spiritual guide once told me suicide is the most selfish act a human can execute and I was confused but she explained there’s just no mental place further away from humanity and purpose than the hypnotized numbness that creates the false picture of despair, that forces the victim, unaware, to believe, life’s legacy is over. That there is no more service. No more task. No more love left to give to another to to be given. Nothing to heal.

So what? I hear you took your life in paris. What hotel? Did you relapse? Did you just get home from the best meal of your life? Did you cheat on your girl. Those of us that knew you are shocked and angry and angry and angry selfishly angry, for what you just did to us. Millions I should think. At least a million people like me who imagine they know you. Some imagine they know you even well. But you heard that phone ringing, you felt it buzzing in your coat or pants pocket, vibrating a million times, but you didn’t answer it. You let it ring out. Did you bleed out? Did you suffocate? Did you jump. No you didn’t jump. Is it important we know how you did it? No. But that you did it. One of the tentative titles of my new studio is Bourdains. Because you’ve come to realize and exemplify a steady however dim hope, that history is bending towards justice. Would you have taken your life two years ago when like me you were unable to take in food and move it with your tongue over your taste buds because your tongue was too swollen? Is too swollen. I think and dream and plan on eating and tasting and enjoying every meal I’ve ever enjoyed and every meal I’ve learned to enjoy in my imagination, Altho I’ve never met a meal I didn’t like in the last 40 years except anything with too much cilantro. Was that it? You woke up and realized you were no longer hungry. And that even with a young daughter at home you would never be hungry enough again to want to take in breath.

Was your father’s hate so still so present as to cloud over every last sunny moment of every single damn day Anthony. Oh darkness. My prayer before the light breaks this morning of June 8th, is that it doesn’t ever again fool another warrior like you, who chased the hot slice of momentary satisfaction around the world 15 times, but found no reason for 16. Anthony Bourdain killed himself. At least you had that beer with Obama on a busy street in Vietnam, in a plastic seat, with your favorite type of meal, spicy noodles and goop, and he gave you hope, I saw it in your eyes when you asked him, as if you were 12, to your father, “Are we going to be all right?” And Obama reminded you and us all that history is not written in a straight line. But yet it is written. And it bends towards justice. You found and showed us pockets of freedom from individuals around the world, from your pirate ship of tv and with a crew of brilliant writers producers camera and sound people, assistants, executives and lawyers who saw you clearly and loved you dearly, and went the extra mile on paper, to enable you to walk there, in the rain, before daylight, and waiting for the sun, reflect quietly on the pageantry, about to unfold. You could have and should have given it one more shot. Sometimes we must live in service to another’s life and live with no hope of equality. Life isn’t fair that way. Who says you had a right to take away all this love from us so soon? Oh the darkness. The darkness on the edge of town. “There’s a darkness in the edge of town…”you left too soon my friend. I fell asleep to watching you enjoy Uruguay last night. It was a rerun but I always find something I didn’t see before… you left too soon. And I’m going to prove it…

Ummmm. Yikes.

As you would expect, people on Twitter had some things to say about Kilmer’s reaction. Some were upset by Kilmer’s reaction.

Others were on Kilmer’s side.

We all deal with grief in our own way. Publicly shaming the guy hours after his death is the wrong way to do it, but if Kilmer feels suicide is selfish, that’s his right. I can see his point of view. It’s a POV I’ve thought about as I’ve struggled with depression.

I’d say very few commit suicide because they are selfish. In fact, it’s the opposite. They believe no one cares about them and that the world would be better off without them. Even if they are told different everyday, sometimes it doesn’t matter. The feeling of helplessness is overwhelming, and in that moment, it trumps everything.

Kilmer’s words are neither right or wrong. His timing is poor, but his frustration is understandable.

If you think suicide is a selfish act, express that to someone who has those thoughts. Don’t tell them they would be selfish, but tell them how your life would be worse without them.

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Rina Bell Bileski
Rina Bell Bileski
5 years ago

Dear Val,
My son was 19 when he hung himself in the psychiatric ward of Hennepin County Medical Center. I will not go into details of neglect, maltreatment, imprisonment and cover up that took place by all the systems involved. He wanted to die at a very early age, 10 to be exact.
So what was he, sick or selfish?

Kathleen Kern
Kathleen Kern
5 years ago

I had a feeling,may have been intuition when I went to my best friend’s home. I looked into her living room window. There she was, on the floor. I was too late. I tried to break in, No luck. Tried back door but porch was completely baracaded. It was clear, she did not want any heroic intervention. I ran to her mother’s hone nearby. “Do you have a key to Gayle’s house.”. She did. I ran back, opened her front door and tried to find a pulse, while calling 911. Please I begged them, send an ambulance, she dying. She… Read more »