Frozen star criticised for wrist-slit joke

Mental health groups are not happy

Frozen actress Idina Menzel has been criticised by mental health groups after making a joke on TV about slashing her wrists.

The Broadway star, is known for voicing main character Elsa in the Disney movie.

She made the comment as she promoted her new television movie Beaches – a remake of the 1988 film which starred Bette Midler.

Asked which songs made her cry, Menzel replied: “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.

“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.”

Jessica Cruz, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), criticised the actress for joking about self-harm: “Self harm and suicide is a very serious situation. Some people may not realise the impact of that type of statement.

“It shows a lack of education around the pain families and individuals go through and further stigmatises mental health.

“It’s joking about self harm when self harm is not a joke.”

But the Trevor Project, which helps young people from the LGBT community at risk of suicide, defended Menzel and said she was “expressing her appreciation of the emotional impact” of Ndegeocello’s music, reports The Independent.

Steve Mendelsohn, the charity’s interim executive director, added: “While the Trevor Project believes her choice of words could have been better, we also firmly believe that Idina did not mean to imply that she would harm herself nor did she intend to encourage self-harm or suicidal tendencies in anyone else.”

It is not the first time Menzel has joked about self harm.

In an interview to the New York Times in 2014, the actress said: “I suppose if Christmas makes you depressed this album might make you want to slit your wrists.”