A suicide prevention group is upset that Good Morning America prevented them from getting their message across. The group, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, had arranged to be outside the GMA studios in Times Square for the Sept. 8 broadcast as part of World Suicide Prevention Day, which is Sept. 10.
Dr. Jill Harkavy-Friedman a member of the group writes, “I was crushed when we were asked to step aside, take ourselves and our National Suicide Prevention Week signs out of the camera’s view, and given the explanation that, ‘It’s the top of our morning show. We don’t want suicide on the brain.'”
The group had reached out to the GMA audience coordinator to let them know they were coming. The show accommodated, providing space in the Times Square plaza. We’re told the group was also reminded that they might be asked to put down their signs at certain points. NBC’s Today show has the same guidelines.
“We never want anyone to have a bad experience visiting out show,” a Good Morning America spokesperson says. “We care deeply about this issue and have covered it in the past.”
“The incident at ‘Good Morning America’ just happens to be the latest reminder there is still work that needs to be done,” Dr. Harkavy-Friedman writes. “We were in such good moods, standing there in our colorful shirts: far from a dour image that would have brought any early morning viewers down. But we can’t bring people who need help out of the darkness if we’re pushed into the shadows for fear that it’s a sad topic.”