Idina Menzel Apologizes for 'Thoughtless Comment' About Suicide

Idina Menzel has faced backlash for a joke about suicide and self-harm

Lifetime's "Beaches" New York Screening
Photo: Mike Pont/WireImage

Idina Menzel fully regrets a comment she made during her press tour for Beaches.

On Tuesday, the star was promoting her TV movie adaptation of the Bette Midler classic, which premiered on Saturday, when she was asked which songs made her cry.

“You’d think because I’m a singer I listen to a lot of music, which I do, but there’s certain music that I think is so devastatingly beautiful that it’s too painful to listen to sometimes,” she said. “There’s this Meshell Ndegeocello album Bitter that I just can’t listen to. It’s so good. It makes me just want to slit my wrists.”

Menzel, 45, who has since faced backlash from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and on social media, regrets the choice of words.

“I recently made a thoughtless comment during an interview and quickly realized how wrong it was,” she tells PEOPLE. “The National Alliance on Mental Illness was right; it is not an appropriate metaphor. I was wrong and truly apologize. Depression, self-harm, and suicide are serious issues and deserve our utmost concern and sensitivity.”

“I want to thank the National Alliance on Mental Illness for pointing this out and welcome any opportunity to raise awareness, or just give love and support to anyone I offended,” she continued. “Again, my sincerest regret and apologies.”

After Menzel’s interview began gaining traction, NAMI released a statement in regards to the incident.

“Self harm and suicide is a very serious situation,” read the statement. “Some people may not realize the impact of that type of statement. It shows a lack of education around the pain families and individuals go through and further stigmatizes mental health.”

“It’s not an appropriate metaphor,” the organization added.

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