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. – Britt McHenry via Twitter
Before I bid adieu, one final reflection from my first year at ESPN. The mute and block buttons on Twitter are your friends. Let’s get more acquainted with them. – Britt McHenry via Tumblr
ESPN reporter Britt McHenry was suspended for one week after a video surfaced of her chewing out and belittling a parking lot attendant, criticizing her teeth and telling the attendant to “lose some weight, baby girl” in a parting shot.
“I’m in the news, sweetheart, I will (expletive) sue this place,” McHenry said in the video published online by LiveLeak.
“Yep, that’s all you care about, is just taking people’s money,” McHenry said. “With no education, no skillset, just wanted to clarify that. … Do you feel good about your job? So I could be a college dropout and do the same thing? Why, cause I have a brain and you don’t?”
No one likes being towed, but the person working for the tow company sitting in a cage doing their job doesn’t deserve to be insulted. Not all college grads are successes or especially intelligent. Not all people are blessed with good looks. Not everyone is given the same shakes in this life. How you shine as a human being is by treating people with respect, no matter how maddening the situation you personally find yourself in is.
One week, ESPN?
From McHenry’s Tumblr journal
On working in the “media”:
“Granted, if you want to work in media, there’s a sort of ‘Type A’ ambition necessary to succeed. However, it often precludes one from truly enjoying the moment. I’m here to tell you, I test that to the limit. When I was waiting to get hired by ESPN, I actually took a trip to Europe just to keep my mind busy through the process. Essentially, I wanted to escape my own agonizing. Not that it helped. I must have emailed my agent every single day of a week-long trip. It wasn’t until months after did I recall and appreciate the adventures of that London-Amsterdam-Paris journey. Which, is crazy to even type. If you’re sightseeing the gorgeous architecture of Paris and find yourself still obsessing over television, you’re either crazy or made for this business. Perhaps, I’m both…”
On being beautiful naturally..
“It’s been a while since my fingers have touched this keyboard. They were more preoccupied with glasses of wine and margaritas on vacation. Can you blame a girl?
Given the time lapse, I had planned on writing about our baseball coverage this week (that’s coming), but a Super Bowl commercial steered my thoughts in an entirely different direction. An angry direction. A disgusted direction. A direction that leads straight to a burger company that will remain nameless.
We get it. Stick a model or reality TV star half naked next to a cheeseburger they’d never fathom eating based on caloric intake and voila! Dollar signs. Personally, that philosophy never worked on this consumer, but perhaps there are some out there willing to purchase meat because Paris Hilton theoretically did. Or, in more likelihood, the sales ploy at the very least gets people talking.
Here I am falling into that trap. However, the most recent commercial to unwittingly catch my attention, deemed so risqué it will only be played on the West Coast during this year’s Super Bowl, proved too much to bear.
In a display of rebellion, I posted these two photos. The first picture is a throwback, a shot of my graduate class at Medill. Years may have passed but the education (minus an occasional AP Style flub) doesn’t fade. Before I ever thought of a career in television, I dreamt of attending a top notch university. Even at 18, and yes as a model once, I never fathomed resting on appearance alone. In a pre-Instagram era, I was more worried about putting my nose in a book rather than flaunting it (and other female assets) in a portfolio book. If a Champion Sportswear ad helped pay for my student loans, great. But, I wanted to be an attractive AND intelligent woman. I know many of those women follow me here and on social media. Here’s my question: Why aren’t there more? It pained me to see a naked woman, gleefully debasing herself with sexual innuendo in a cheeseburger commercial. When so many females fight for gender equality in pay and opportunity–still to this day in 2015–an advertisement like that only sets women back generations. On football’s biggest stage, the most watched event in America, the image being portrayed of a blonde woman is about as degrading as they come.
Maybe that strikes a chord because I am a blonde. I’m sure there will be some response, as I often get, claiming that’s the only reason I was hired. Perhaps, it’s one. I do work in a visual medium. Yes, I put highlights in my hair, enjoy wearing MAC make-up and shopping for designer duds. I, along with many other women in television, care about my appearance and receive plenty of criticism for it. Which is why I posted the second photo. It’s no filtered, with no make-up and un-airbrushed.