Amnesty International USA joins millions of people in mourning the passing of Robin Williams.
Robin Williams was a cultural icon, known the world over for both his comedic and dramatic film and television roles. With over 75 films to his credit, from Mrs. Doubtfire to Good Will Hunting to Dead Poets Society, Williams' talent and the diversity of roles he played was only matched by the vastness of his body of work.
Williams was just as prolific in his charitable work. His work with Amnesty and other organizations over four decades demonstrated his deep love of humanity and his belief in giving back to the world.
Williams was first introduced to Amnesty International by his pals in Monty Python and their work on the "Secret Policeman's Ball" benefit shows and movies. So in 1986, when Amnesty International USA organized the first of what became the "Human Rights Concerts" benefit series, Robin made his own contribution to the cause.
Using his trademark humor, Williams created a series of public service announcements that were shown on TV and at Amnesty concerts. He pretended to be a tyrant aggravated at Amnesty's attempts to prevent him indulging in torture. His portrayal conveyed Amnesty's message in a unique way that especially resonated with younger audiences, who tended to be immune to more traditional PSAs.
In addition to those video clips, Williams performed live at one of the six concerts on the "A Conspiracy Of Hope" tour commemorating Amnesty's 25th anniversary and continued to support the organization over the years.
We at Amnesty USA mourn the loss of him and salute his memory. The gift of laughter Robin Williams gave the world is even richer because of the example he set of giving back and caring for the human spirit.
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million members in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.