Media, Technology, and Education

Did Robin Williams Say That?

Jeannette recently told us about an email that she received that is supposed to be a transcript of a “comedy” routine by Robin Williams. We discussed the fact that we think he probably has fairly progressive politics but that this routine was incredibly offensive if it was taken at face value. Then we discussed whether he meant it ironically but failed in making the irony clear enough. After the conversation, we still weren’t sure so she sent us a copy of the email.

Here’s the transcript:

You gotta love Robin Williams……Even if he’s nuts! Leave it to Robin Williams to come up with the perfect plan. What we need now is for our UN Ambassador to stand up and repeat this message.

Robin Williams’ plan…(Hard to argue with this logic!)

‘I see a lot of people yelling f or peace but I have not heard of a plan for peace. So, here’s one plan.’

1) ‘The US will apologize to the world for our ‘interference’ in their affairs, past & present. You know, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Tojo, Noriega, Milosevic, Hussein, and the rest of those ‘good ‘ ole’ boys’, we will never ‘interfere’ again.

2) We will withdraw our troops from all over the world, starting with Germany , South Korea , the Middle East, and the Philippines. They don’t want us there. We would station troops at our borders. No one allowed sneaking through holes in the fence..

3) All illegal aliens have 90 days to get their affairs together and leave.. We’ll give them a free trip home. After 90 days the remainder will be gathered up and deported immediately, regardless of whom or where they are . They’re illegal!!! France will welcome them.

4) All future visitors will be thoroughly checked and limited to 90 days unless given a special permit!!!! No one from a terrorist nation will be allowed in If you don’t like it there, change it yourself and don’t hide here. Asylum would never be available to anyone. We don’t need any more cab drivers or 7-11 cashiers.

5) No foreign ‘students’ over age 21. The older ones are the bombers. If they don’t attend classes, they get a ‘D’ and it’s back home baby.

6) The US will make a strong effort to become self-sufficient energy wise. This will include developing nonpolluting sources of energy but will require a temporary drilling of oil in the Alaskan wilderness. The caribou will have to cope for awhile.

7) Offer Saudi Arabia and other oil producing countries $10 a barrel for their oil. If they don’t like it, we go someplace else. They can go somewhere else to sell their production. (About a week of the wells filling up the storage sites would be enough.)

8 ) If there is a famine or other natural catastrophe in the world, we will not ‘interfere.’ They can pray to Allah or whomever, for seeds, rain, cement or whatever they need. Besides most of what we give them is stolen or given to the army. The people who need it most get very little, if anything.

9) Ship the UN Headquarters to an isolated island someplace. We don’t need the spies and fair weather friends here. Besides, the building would make a good homeless shelter or lockup for illegal aliens.

10) All Americans must go to charm and beauty school. That way, no one can call us ‘Ugly Americans’ any longer. The Language we speak isENGLISH..learn it…or LEAVE…Now, isn’t that a winner of a plan?

‘The Statue of Liberty is no longer saying ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses.’ She’s got a baseball bat and she’s yelling, ‘you want a piece of me?’ ‘

If you agree with the above forward it to friends…If not, and I would be amazed, DELETE IT!

I think it’s pretty clear that there is no irony in this vile spew. But I couldn’t believe that Robin Williams had said it. The email was actually accompanied by a photo of him wearing a shirt that says “I Love NY” in Arabic. I could see the irony and the progressive politics in the photo. And the photo definitely didn’t seem to match the diatribe. What we hadn’t discussed with Jeannette was the possibility that the email was a hoax.

Why I hadn’t questioned whether Williams actually said these things? Why is that just because an email says that he said this crap, I automatically believed that he actually did say it? The photo was what made me start questioning things. I could completely see that some idiot might have missed Williams’ point in wearing the t-shirt and thought that by pairing this photo with this hateful diatribe, the hate might gain some credibility.

I spent a few minutes this morning trying to determine whether Williams had said these things or not. Within a short time, I found this article on For those of you who won’t follow the link, I’ll summarize: he didn’t say it. It’s a hoax. The diatribe was making the Internet rounds long before the photo of Robin Williams was even taken.

This just goes to show (once again), you can’t believe everything you read. Especially on the Internet.

Article written by:

I am currently Professor of Digital Media at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, NH. I am also the current Coordinator of General Education at the University. I am interested in astrophotography, game studies, digital literacies, open pedagogies, and generally how technology impacts our culture.

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