American news channel ABC News came under fire this morning for its live aerial broadcast by helicopter of Robin William’s California home straight to its website.
ABC posted a bright red banner on the top of its site advertising to readers that they could “watch live” Robin Williams’ home during this time of grief.
Viewers could see live shots of emergency services and mourners outside the film star’s home in Tiburon.
Users on Twitter particularly drew attention to ABC’s article about the death of the celebrity, who apparently committed suicide at his home on Monday, in which the news agency quote a request from Williams’ family asking for privacy at this time.
“The family respectfully ask for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time”, the article on ABC News reads.
Twitter users attacked James Goldston, ABC News president, via his Twitter account, calling the move to send a helicopter to monitor Williams’ home “insensitive” and “cold hearted”. Others named ABC journalists as “parasites”.
The tweet lambasting the ABC News aerial coverage of the scenes outside Williams’ house has been retweeted more than 4,000 times.
ABC News responded to the outcry by removing the link to the livestream of Robin Williams’ house after one hour..
Nicole Enberg, spokesperson, said: “When we realised there was no news value to the live stream, we took it down immediately. Our intention was not to be insensitive to his family, friends and fans, and for that we apologise.”
Robin Williams, 63, passed away on Monday in what authorities are calling an apparent suicide.