The parent’s of former Rutgers University student who committed suicide in 2010, Tyler Clementi, sat down for an exclusive interview with NBC airing tonight at 10pm/9c. The interview comes just a few days after Dharun Ravi, who was convicted of multiple second-degree bias counts for invading Clementi’s private encounter with another man and broadcasting it via the internet prompting Clementi’s suicide, was released from jail after serving only 20 days of the 30 day sentence.
I remember reading about this story when it first came out and the message Ellen Degeneres gave during a taping of her show. I remember listening to her voice crack as she tried to hold back tears and deliver the message that anti-gay bullying must be stopped. It was such a touching speech that I shared it with my friends and choked-up whenever I played the clip.
I understand Ravi’s sentencing is controversial, with some people for it and some people against it. I understand he isn’t legally being held responsible for Clementi’s suicide because he can’t be physically held accountable for it. But what I don’t understand are the almost non-responsive reactions from Ravi towards the whole situation he’s created. During his trial, Ravi looked to be unresponsive to the emotional statements given by Clementi’s family. Judge Glenn Berman was quoted “I heard this jury say, ‘guilty’ 288 times—24 questions, 12 jurors. That’s the multiplication. I haven’t heard you apologize once.” The only time Ravi showed emotion was during his mother’s statement to the judge.
I also don’t understand how lightly Ravi took his ridiculous sentencing of 30 days in jail, of which he only served 20. When asked why he grew a beard, Ravi answered “that’s what you do in jail.” Really? It’s reported that he spent his time in jail “playing chess and cards, reading and watching television.” Not that it would justify Ravi or his actions, but I wish there was more from him. I wish there was more of a sincere apology than the bull shit one he gave the day of his sentencing that didn’t even specifically mention Clementi.
Tonight for the first time since his suicide, Clementi’s parents talk about his life, death, and Ravi. Below is an exclusive clip from the interview. Tune in tonight at 10pm/9c on NBC to watch the entire interview.