You may have seen the video of ESPN's Britt McHenry berating the employee of a towing company that had recently towed McHenry's car. If not, the video is here:
To summarize, McHenry said the following things to the employee of this towing company:
- “I’m in the news, sweetheart.”
- “I will fucking sue this place.”
- “That’s why I have a degree and you don’t.”
- “I wouldn’t work in a scumbag place like this.”
- “Makes my skin crawl even being here.”
- “Yep, that’s all you care about is just taking people’s money. With no education, no skill set, just wanted to clarify that.”
- “Do you feel good about your job?"
- “So I can be a college dropout and do the same thing?”
- “Why? Because I have a brain? And you don’t?”
- “Maybe if I was missing some teeth they would hire me, huh?”
- “‘Cause they [the employee’s teeth] look so stunning … ‘Cause I’m on television and you’re in a fucking trailer, honey.”
- “Lose some weight, baby girl.”
McHenry has yet to answer any questions or appear on camera about the incident. She was suspended by ESPN for one week and made the following statement via Twitter:
In an intense and stressful moment, I allowed my emotions to get the best of me and said some insulting and regrettable things. As frustrated as I was, I should always choose to be respectful and take the high road. I am so sorry for my actions and will learn from this mistake.
I don't like this one bit. Blaming her actions on an "intense and stressful moment" is nonsense.
Claiming that she allowed her emotions to get the best of her is ridiculous.
And exactly what high road is McHenry speaking about? There is no high road here. An employee was doing her job. It wasn't her fault that McHenry was towed, nor was the employee even involved in the actual tow. If McHenry believes that treating the employee of a company with common decency is equivalent to taking the high road, then her estimation of the high road is not very high.
Treating an employee in a degrading an demeaning way is neither a high nor a low road. It's simply disgusting.
I watched this video and thought two things:
1. As angry as I have been with people in my life, I have never treated anyone in such a demeaning and degrading and cruel manner. I have never said anything as terrible as this to anyone ever. I suspect that this is true of most people.
2. McHenry's reaction - in my estimation - exposed her true colors. This was not a nonspecific, expletive-laced tirade or even an unexpected act of physical violence. These were specific remarks made about fame, weight, wealth, education level, and socioeconomic status. A person doesn't say these things unless he or she thinks and believes these things. Comments like "I’m in the news, sweetheart" and “Lose some weight, baby girl.” are the kind of thoughts that existed in McHenry's mind before this encounter. They are a reflection of the person she is, and apparently this is not the first time that she has treated someone like this.
Rather than blaming her actions on stress or the intensity of the moment, her statement should've said something like this:
I am a terrible and disgusting person, and I will seek to make myself into a far better person.
That would've been impressive. That would've been honest. That would've earned my respect.
Instead, I will change the channel every time I see McHenry on my television without exception.