Tony Robbins on Hot Coal Incident: 'No One Was Injured'
Entrepreneur Tony Robbins said that “no one was injured” in June when it was reported that dozens of attendees at one of Robbins’ “Unleash the Power Within” seminars had been burned while walking across hot coals.
Dallas Fire-Rescue reported in June that it had evaluated 30 to 40 people at the city's Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center for minor burn injuries and at least five people ended up hospitalized.
During the "Unlease the Power Within" seminar, participants are invited to “"storm across a bed of hot coals" in order to "overcome the unconscious fears that are holding you back," according to Robbins’ website.
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Robbins said today on “Good Morning America” that it was confusion that led to emergency medical personnel being called after the fire walk, which he said is just one part of his three-and-a-half day seminar.
“I’ve done this event for 35 years. This was no different than any one I’ve done before,” Robbins said. “The only difference is somebody came by and didn’t know what we were doing, didn’t understand the process, saw people and called and said, ‘Bring four ambulances.’”
Robbins added, “Here’s the truth. No one was injured.”
A Robbins spokeswoman said at the time of the incident that 7,000 attendees “successfully participated” in the fire walk during the Dallas seminar and only five of the participants “requested any examination beyond what was readily available on site.”
Robbins said today that getting a blister is like a “badge of courage” and that “less than half a percent” of participants -- who are all voluntary -- ever get hot spots or blisters.
“For people who come to this event, facing this fire and changing your state and getting yourself to get over your fears and take action is really transformational, but it’s one hour of a four-day process,” Robbins said. “People find it to be an incredible experience, and so we’ve done it for 35 years and we’re going to continue to do it.”
Robbins is the focus of a new documentary, “Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru,” directed by his friend, Joe Berlinger.
Berlinger said he met Robbins socially and after attending one of his seminars knew he had to make the film.
“’He didn’t want to do it for two years, so I chased him and eventually he relented,” Berlinger said on “GMA.” “We live in very divisive times, and I’ve never seen in a room, 2,500 people, the boundaries between people just melt and people get along. I think the more connection we all feel in life there would be less problems.”
Robbins spoke of the work he does in his seminars uniting people in the context of the recent protests cities around the country in response to recent police-involved shootings in Baton Rouge and St. Paul.
“I think it’s really important for us all to remember that everyone in America is hurting,” Robbins said. “I think the Black Lives Matter movement is not about white lives don’t matter, it’s about the fact that blacks in this country, there are situations that have occurred for so many years that have produced a lack of trust and fear.”
He added, “When you see anger, where is anger coming from? It’s hurt. I think the only good news about this is we’re hitting a threshold, and it takes a threshold for people to finally make real change, and I think we’re going to have to systemically look how we make the shift in our system.”
“Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru" will be available on Netflix this Friday.
ABC News' Catherine Thorbecke contributed to this report.