As knee-jerk a reaction it is to instantly point the finger at the insensitive Australian DJs who called Kate Middleton’s hospital room — you can’t say they are solely responsible for the alleged suicide.
Tragically, nurse Jacintha Saldanha, a married mother of two, was found dead, of an apparent suicide, two days after she mistakenly put through a call to Kate Middleton‘s hospital room.
When the sad news was released this morning, Dec. 7, the Twitterverse exploded with mean tweets blaming the nurse’s death on DJs, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, from Sydney’s 2Day FM station.
The Prank Call to Kate’s Hospital
When they called the switchboard, Jacintha, a nurse who had worked there for four years, was manning the phones, and she fell for the DJs’ prank.
DJ Mel pretended to be Queen Elizabeth and DJ Michael was Prince Charles.
After the report, they boasted loudly and endlessly on Twitter and the radio of their success in reaching Kate’s room and getting a report on her condition.
Yes, their behavior was tasteless, tacky and juvenile BUT that doesn’t mean they should be blamed for poor Jacintha’s death.
DJs Mel and Michael could NEVER in a million years have foreseen that their silly behavior could prompt a woman at the hospital to allegedly commit suicide.
Was the Nurse Worried About Losing Her Job?
The nurse was not a victim of a relentless bullying campaign that they initiated and pushed forward. In fact, she was never identified in public and according to the hospital, she was not pressured or threatened to quit her job at the hospital.
In fact, the hospital issued a statement, saying that they had been “supporting her throughout this difficult time.”
It’s understandable that Jacintha might feel terrible and embarrassed that she had inadvertently invaded the privacy of Kate Middleton and Prince William.
But would an incident like this send most people over the edge into suicide? I don’t think so.
Prank Call: The Straw That Broke The Camel’s Back
I can only assume there had to be other factors in Jacintha’s life that we are all unaware of that played a major role in her tragic death.
The DJs’ prank may have been the final straw that pushed her over the edge into an apparent suicide, but of course, they would have had no way of knowing this.
Pranking is Common Fodder
Anyone who listens to popular radio shows knows that DJs make prank phone calls all the time. It’s common fodder.
And let’s not forget that many celebrities have jumped enthusiastically into the pranking business.
Justin Bieber pranked Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift on the season premiere of Ashton Kutcher‘s Punk’d, in early 2012. Recently, he even pranked the world, claiming his camera, highly personal videos, and laptop had been stolen and held for ransom, as a way to prompt tune-in for his video, “Beauty And A Beat” with Nicki Minaj.
Then, there’s Ellen DeGeneres, who pranks celebrity guests on her show all the time, recently terrifying Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez, by having men unsuspectingly sneak up on them.
Pranking has become part of our entertainment culture. Maybe it’s wrong. Maybe it’s stupid. Maybe it’s disrespectful. But what the Australian DJs did was not cruel, humiliating enough, or prolonged enough to truly be linked to the tragedy of Jacintha’s death.
So, Tweeters, please stop your vitriolic, mean tweets to the DJs. The last thing we want is for them to go into a deep depression as well. Let’s stop all the nastiness now.
That shouldn’t be in any way the legacy of the lovely Jacintha Saldanha’s passing. What do you think, HollywoodLifers? Do you agree? Let me know.
— Bonnie Fuller
More On The Apparent Suicide of Nurse After Radio Station’s Prank Call:
- Kate Middleton DJ Pranksters Suspended After Nurse Suicide
- Kate Middleton’s Hospital Nurse’s Family Breaks Silence On Her Death
- Prince William & Kate Middleton Release Statement On Nurse Suicide