ESPN has suspended reporter Britt McHenry for one week following her verbal altercation with an employee from a towing company after McHenry felt her car was wrongfully towed. A video of the conversation was recorded by the company and made public. For those who haven’t seen it, here is the transcript of the heavily edited video:
McHenry: “I’m in the news, sweetheart. I will f****** sue this place.”
Employee: “Ok, that’s fine, and I’ll play your video. So careful.”
McHenry: “That’s why I have a degree and you don’t. I wouldn’t work at a scumbag place like this. Makes my skin crawl even being here.”
Employee: “Well let’s get you out of here quickly.”
McHenry: “Yep that’s all you care about just taking people’s money. With no education, no skill set, just wanted to clarify that.”
McHenry: “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?”
McHenry: “Maybe if I was missing some teeth they would hire me, huh?”
Employee: *muffled* (McHenry’s friend laughs)
McHenry: “Oh like yours? Cause they look so stunning. Cause I’m on television and you’re in a f****** trailer, honey.”
Employee: “Have a nice…”
McHenry: “Lose some weight, baby girl.”
People were all over social media calling for McHenry to be fired after the video went public. I would never condone a belittling attitude towards another person. I would also never defend using personal insults on someone’s education and appearance. I understand why everyone online is upset with her, as she should be embarrassed and ashamed of the way she spoke to this woman. I only ask, is calling for her to be fired any different?
At one point or another we have all said something to someone that was inappropriate and that we (should have) regretted. If everyone automatically got terminated from their job for this we’d all be unemployed and looking for new work. Maybe it is just me, but I have issues with people wishing bad things to happen to people in retaliation for saying inappropriate things. There are exceptions, I’m sure, but in general I think we need to get off our high horses on social media every time someone messes up. I think the embarrassment of the video and the public’s perception of her is probably punishment enough. She will always be synonymous with this video.
To this point, I haven’t read any explanation as to why the video is so choppy and edited. The full conversation is not present, so we are asked to judge only on the comments that are present. Did the employee egg her on? Was she rude when McHenry approached the counter? We may never know.
Getting your car towed sucks. If anyone has ever had their car towed and went up to the counter all smiling and happy, then congratulations. You should be humanitarian of the year. Does this excuse McHenry’s comments? Absolutely not. But we have all been there, in one form or another. I just don’t feel that calling for someone’s head for insulting someone on their own time is justifiable. Two wrongs and all that.
(Those that feel my opinion on this matter should get me fired can email [email protected])
Follow Jeff on Twitter: @JeffLane22