Mental health groups are upset by the Halloween episode of The Office, in which hapless boss Michael Scott (Steve Carell) slips his neck into a hangman's noose during a haunted house.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and other organizations have come out against the Oct. 29 show and what the organizations call an irresponsible, dangerous stunt on the NBC series. The other groups include Suicide Awareness Voices in Education, Mental Health America and National Alliance on Mental Illness.
"Portrayals of suicide certainly can be offensive to people who have lost someone," foundation executive director Robert Gebbia told TVGuide.com. "There is some evidence that shows depictions of suicide or methods of suicide - for people who are vulnerable - these depictions can actually be dangerous."
In the episode titled "Koi Pond," Scott shares some advice to a group of young children once in the noose. "Kids, just remember, suicide is not the answer," he says. "It is the easy way out."