Robin Roberts got overcome with emotion while opening up about her battle with cancer at the Cannes Lions Festival.
via Page Six:
A clip was played from her ABC special “Robin Roberts’ Journey” of the aftermath of her her bone marrow transplant in 2012, as her hair stylist Petula Skeete’s shaves her head and then sings sweetly to her.
Dabbing her eyes with a tissue, Roberts, 55, said, “That particular moment is what people commented on and appreciated most – you need to see the vulnerability, it is not the easiest to show you are down on your knees.”
But she said showing her emotion on TV helped raise awareness of the need for donors for life-saving bone marrow transplants, and the donor registry saw an 18,000 per cent rise of people signing up. Roberts added, “That helped me find meaning…I really felt I was a messenger for that.”
Roberts was on stage with ABC producer John R Green for a session hosted by WebMD CEO David Schlanger titled “Building Trust: Robin Roberts on the Power of Truth.”
The popular TV star also discussed showing emotion during her 2005 reporting on Hurricane Katrina, where she also shed tears after finding out her family, who live in the Gulf area, were safe before going on live TV.
Roberts said, “When the storm hit I lost contact with my family…they [my bosses] thought I was going down there to report, but I was going down there to find my mama.”
She continued that she put together a very professional report, but then became emotional when later asked about her family. “I remember I was there and I lost it, and I thought I am going to be fired…how could I be objective? I’’m crying.” But instead of being fired, the moment connected her with her audience.
Talking about how to win over viewers, “If you are authentic, if you are in the moment, if the audience trusts you enough to show your true self, then the audience will love you.”
She also discussed the nature of news reporting, and winning trust at a time when confidence in journalism is at a low, stating that, “Getting it right is better than getting it first.”
And of some of the big interviews she’s recently landed including Vice President Joe Biden and Prince Harry, Roberts added, “I don’t interview people, I have a conversation with people. You don’t need to know what I think. The reason I am able to land the interviews, [is because] I don’t come with an agenda, I am not trying to go viral, although its nice if it does, but theres’ a comfort level, I trust the audience to be able to make up their own mind.”
She added that she also used humor to win over the audience, adding that when she was searching for a bone marrow donor, she had trouble finding a match and asked her mother, “Does daddy have any kids out there we don’t know about?””
Robin’s story is SO inspiring.