In the latest story of white privilege gone wild, an Ohio man has been charged with three counts of battery following an incident on a Frontier Airlines flight. Max Berry, a 22-year-old from Norwalk who looks like every fraternity’s president, was caught on video going completely berserk on a Frontier flight from Philadelphia to Miami on July 31.
The video, which was posted on Twitter by ABC News reporter Sam Sweeney, has already been viewed over 9 million times. In the clip, Berry can be heard yelling, “My parents are worth over f*cking 2 million goddamn dollars. And you know what? You f*cking suck”. I mean, I know he’s flying a low-cost airline, and while I am certainly worth nowhere near $2 million (take off six zeros and that’s hitting closer to my net worth), $2 million is not exactly the flex Berry thinks it is. I’m sure the airline that pulled in over $2 billion in 2018 is shaking over this guy whose parents… own a nice house in the suburbs.
Later on in the video, he screams, “My grandpa is worth more than this f*ckin’ plane” before screaming something about a “f*cking attorney” and telling a flight attendant trying to get him to calm down to “shut the f*ck up.” Really checking all the boxes for white dude rage fits. (The New York Times was unable to confirm if Mr. Berry did, in fact, retain an attorney.) Other passengers can be heard laughing, probably because this is truly the embodiment of a terrible joke—or, more accurately, a hateful comment one tries to pass off as a joke upon realizing nobody’s laughing. He later appears to punch a male crew member.
Frontier passenger allegedly touched 2 flight attendants breasts, then screamed his parents are worth $2 million, before punching a flight attendant. Frontier suspended the crew for duct taping the passenger to his seat as they landed in Miami. 22 yr old Max Berry is in custody. pic.twitter.com/4xS9Rwvafx
— Sam Sweeney (@SweeneyABC) August 3, 2021
Things started to go south for Mr. Do You Know Who My Dad Is when he ordered his third drink on board (he had already consumed two drinks prior to the meltdown). According to the criminal complaint filed with the Miami-Dade Police Department, Berry brushed his empty cup against a flight attendant’s backside. The flight attendant told him, “don’t touch me.”
Then, Berry spilled his drink and went to the bathroom, from which he emerged shirtless. A flight attendant informed him that he needed to be fully dressed and even helped him get a new shirt out of his carry-on. Re-clothed, he walked around the cabin for about 15 minutes.
That’s when he groped the breasts of another flight attendant, who told him not to touch her and instructed him to sit down. The complaint also said that Berry put his arms around the same two flight attendants later and groped their breasts again. When the male flight attendant approached Berry to ask him to calm down, Berry punched him in the face.
The crew had no choice but to restrain Berry by duct taping him to his seat. (The NY Times reports that a seatbelt extender was also used to restrain him.) He was arrested upon landing at Miami International Airport, which surely put a real damper on his Miami trip.
At first, Frontier Airlines released a statement saying that the flight attendants involved with duct taping Berry had been suspended “pending further investigation”, saying, “unfortunately, the proper policies for restraining a passenger were not followed.” Frontier did not elaborate to the NY Times about what said proper policies for restraining a passenger were, and whether duct tape qualified.
The Association of Flight Attendants dragged Frontier’s initial response; its president, Sara Nelson, said in a statement, “Management suspended the crew as a knee-jerk reaction to a short video clip that did not show the full incident. Management should be supporting the crew at this time, not suspending them.”
After receiving backlash for suspending employees who were allegedly sexually and physically assaulted, Frontier quickly backtracked and at 4:10pm ET on August 3, amended their statement.
“Frontier Airlines maintains the utmost value, respect, concern, and support for all of our flight attendants, including those who were assaulted on this flight. We are supporting the needs of these team members and are working with law enforcement to fully support the prosecution of the passenger involved.” The statement also clarified that the flight attendants involved were placed on paid leave, which the airline says is “in line with an event of this nature pending an investigation.”
Berry was released on a $1,500 bail, and the FBI declined to press felony charges. Berry graduated in May from Ohio Wesleyan University where—and you truly cannot make this up—he was given an award from the Greek life community for being a “perfect role model” and for working to “fight to dismantle fraternity stereotypes.” Stereotypes he singlehandedly embodied all of on that 2 hour and 37 minute flight.
A spokesman for Ohio Wesleyan told the NY Times in an email that the university is “saddened to learn of this situation with one of our graduates.” The spokesman, Cole Hatcher, also asserted, “The case does not involve the university, and the incidents depicted do not reflect Ohio Wesleyan’s values.”
Images: Jason Schronce / Shutterstock.com; SweeneyABC / Twitter; Giphy
Leading my one (very mundane) life is exhausting, so I don’t know how people muster the energy to have double lives. Today, there’s a story making its way around Facebook that goes way beyond double lives. We’re talking like, quadruple lives here. It sounds like a movie plot: a small-town police chief is being accused of having relationships with multiple women, while married, and keeping them all in the dark, and what started as a cheating scandal has ended with an arrest.
Stinnett Texas, according to Google, is a small town in Texas with a population of 1,881. Up until today, the chief of police was a man by the name of Jason Collier. Collier, according to The Sun, has worked in law enforcement for 21 years and was named Chief of Police in February 2020. According to the NY Post, he is an ordained minister. He is also on the board of an Arlington, Texas-based religious organization called Our Brothers Keeper. According to its website, the organization’s mission is to “reach our public safety professionals for the cause of Christ and provide them with the tools necessary to become the courageous fathers and mothers we need them to be.” They do this, basically, by holding religious services for first responders.
But this law enforcement officer and man of God was not what he seemed. Collier was allegedly dating numerous women simultaneously while still married. He was even trying to have multiple other engagements (again, while still married). The inherent hypocrisy of it all is making waves around the internet, especially on Facebook, where a group called Jason Collier Netflix Series has skyrocketed to over 100,000 members. As inspiring as it is to see people from all over the country rally against this week’s internet villain, the last thing that should happen is a Netflix series, if only because Collier’s ego, lies, and manipulation have surely caused his family enough grief already.
The affairs were uncovered via Facebook, when a woman named Cecily Steinmetz realized the man she considered her boyfriend was married. She even accused him of presenting fake annulment documents (a picture of which she posted to Facebook) to get her to believe his marriage was dissolved. Steinmetz, according to her Facebook, lives in Amarillo, Texas, about an hour away from Stinnett, which could help explain why he was able to conceal the fact that he is married with children despite living in a town smaller than my high school.
Once Steinmetz’s post started making waves, another woman, Kristi Shaffer, came forward and said that Collier had proposed to her, and they were engaged since December 2020. Shaffer and Steinmetz discovered he got them the same gift, a coffee maker, even though Steinmetz doesn’t even drink coffee (Collier does, which is classic male gift-giving behavior if I’ve ever seen it). Shaffer also said Collier even “begged” her to pick out a ring and wanted to ask her dad for her hand in marriage.
As you can imagine, juggling multiple girlfriends in different area codes takes some finessing. So Collier would allegedly use a variety of excuses to account for being unavailable at times, for instance, claiming to be on a work assignment in Portland, or in Nashville in the wake of the Christmas bombing. Steinmetz also claimed Collier would visit her in Amarillo (again, an hour away) when he was on shift.
More women have since come forward claiming to have also been dating Collier, even sharing his Plenty of Fish profile in which he writes that he is “Not looking for a hookup”, but rather, for “Sincere conversation, building trust and relationship first.”
Collier sent a video to Steinmetz in which he apologizes and says he feels like “the biggest piece of sh*t” (bingo) over and over. In the video, he is wearing his uniform and is presumably in a police vehicle, while a scanner can be heard in the background. Steinmetz posted the video to Facebook.
The Stinnett Police Department Faceobook page was taken down after it was inundated with comments about the alleged affairs.
The City of Stinnett released a statement on Wednesday stating that the city “is aware of the current situation surrounding the Chief of Police Jason Collier.” The city vowed that it “will be looking into any violations of city policy”, and stated that Collier has been placed on administrative leave while the city investigates possible violations of its employment policy. Collier has not responded to multiple outlets’ request for comment.
In a January 27 Facebook post, the founder of Our Brothers Keeper, Weslee Bolton, wrote, “I have been made aware of an ongoing situation involving two members that have asked to step down from the board of directors” before stating he would not address specific questions regarding said members.
Collier was arrested by Texas rangers on Thursday and has been charged with tampering with a government record with the intent to defraud or harm. The City of Stinnett Facebook page confirmed that Collier has resigned.
Images: zef art / Shutterstock.com; JackieKingston1 / Twitter
The year was 2017. The Handmaid’s Tale was the most talked-about TV show of the year. Taylor Swift dropped “Look What You Made Me Do”, her long-awaited comeback to the infamous Kimye phone call. Moonlight won the Oscar for Best Picture after the award was almost mistakenly given to La La Land first. And a little-known bathing suit company called Sunny Co Clothing nearly broke the internet (and its own manufacturing capabilities) with a humble promotional campaign for a red swimsuit that went viral.
The concept was simple, and I remember it because I participated in it (I would do anything for free sh*t, then and now). Sunny Co Clothing posted a picture to their Instagram of a model wearing their red “Pamela” style one-piece. She was sitting at the edge of a pool with her feet in the water, and the picture was taken from the back. All you had to do to get a Pamela swimsuit of your own was repost the image and use a certain hashtag, and voilà: you’d get a promo code for a free suit (minus shipping).
Sunny Co Clothing, founded by two college seniors at the University of Arizona, was not prepared for just how quickly their giveaway would catch on. Medium reported in 2017 that the promotion caused the company to shoot up from 7k Instagram followers to 750k followers overnight. (Today, they have 337k followers on Instagram but are verified. Their Twitter account has been suspended.) The promotion blew up so unexpectedly that the company was forced to add a stipulation that they could cap the number of suits given away. Outlets called the effort a failed marketing stunt (depending on your definition of failure—after all, the company went from near-obscurity to write-ups in Teen Vogue and Seventeen, plus the giveaway was repeated a few times after its initial conception).
Well, on Wednesday night, I noticed the promotion was back, a revelation which unknowingly sent me on a bizarre journey chasing down an elusive promo code for a swimsuit I didn’t really want in the first place. (First, the obvious: the odds of me wearing a bathing suit anywhere other than my parents’ backyard this summer grow slimmer by the day. And, second, as said parents would love to remind me: I have plenty of bathing suits as it is.)
I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that I never unfollowed @sunnycoclothing on Instagram after their 2017 stunt (who ever said I couldn’t commit to things), so I noticed when their posting strategy abruptly changed from lifestyle posts of models and brand ambassadors in their swimsuits with run-of-the-mill captions about buying their product. On Wednesday night, they suddenly deleted all their posts except for a few, all of the same picture: the iconic red swimsuit pic from three years ago. They later whittled their feed down to just one post.
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EVERYONE that reposts and tags us @sunnycoclothing in the next 24 HOURS will receive a FREE Pamela Sunny Suit 👙👏🏻 Offer valid worldwide 🌎 Promo ends 5/8/[email protected] 3pm PST This promotion is sponsored by @sunnyambassadors After 24 hr. everyone who reposted and tagged us will be receiving a code and they will be able to use it on our website for the free check out 💕 *Must pay S+H* 💸
In addition to the sudden erasure of all previous posts, I also noticed a different tone in the comments: all caps, spotty grammar, lots of exclamation points. It felt reminiscent of what you’d see in the comments section of large IG accounts from bots who write things like, “are we really not gonna talk about how juicy my ass is?” rather than what you’d expect to see from a retailer or brand or other customer service-facing company.
Equally weird-feeling was the way the brand interacted with me when I commented. I tagged one of my friends in the comments of the giveaway post, and whoever was running the account then went to my page as well as my friend’s and commented personal details they’d gleaned from our bios and photos.
After asking my friend if she is Israeli, they commented back to her telling her to “be a motek” (a sweetheart in Hebrew). They gave no additional directions.
But undeterred by them going kind of IRL on me, I looked into the giveaway some more. The caption of their post said you can enter by reposting and tagging @sunnycoclothing, but according to one of the comments, entrants also needed to follow @sunnycoambassadors. According to yet another comment, you needed to comment “done” when you had completed the steps? I went onto the brand’s stories, where a message indicated one could also simply swipe up to sign up for their email list to receive the promo code.
Since I wasn’t about to f*ck up my own ~aesthetic~ (memes) by posting that red bathing suit pic on my precious feed, I signed up for the email list. Despite making sure “no one gets left behind”, as of 5pm EDT, I still had not received any email from SunnyCo Clothing, and awaited further instruction. And although someone from their team responded to my comment on their feed nearly immediately, a DM to the brand inquiring about the reasons for bringing back the giveaway, their plan for dealing with the volume of requests, and details on how to enter the giveaway went unanswered.
For what it’s worth, I haven’t seen anyone post that once-iconic red bathing suit pic, although some Twitter users reported seeing it making the rounds.
why tf is the stupid sunnycoclothing bathing suit fake giveaway coming back?? i thought we were smarter now people
— 💰ophasourous (@sophiecumpton) May 6, 2020
why did sunnyco clothing come back what fever dream am i living in
— stupid (@chamillay) May 6, 2020
Just when things were feeling too weird sunnycoclothing is coming back on schedule pic.twitter.com/rJkPzpwTVO
— sierra (@sierraforlove) May 7, 2020
It turned out I didn’t even need the code anyway, because at about 5:30pm EDT, Sunny Co Clothing posted a new picture to Instagram, announcing they’d “decided” that “everyone is getting a free Pamela suit today”, and giving out the promo code. How generous.
At this point, I could have given up—nay, I should have given up. But I was convinced by a colleague (read: probably told as a joke) to order one of the suits to see what would happen. And as mentioned before, I will do anything for free—or, in this case “free”—stuff. Bolstered by the idea that I would be shopping in the name of journalism, I went onto the sunnycoclothing.com at around 6pm to order my suit.
Suffice it to say, I do not have high hopes for the quality of this swimsuit, which looks, even in the brand marketing, like what was left of The Hulk’s onesie after he tore himself out of it. But still, I persisted, and ordered a size Medium, applied the promo code successfully, paid the $15.99 in shipping charges (I figured this would happen, that they would charge some astronomical shipping cost, but reasoned that a “free” $16 swimsuit was still not a bad deal in the name of journalism), and completed my order.
(For what it’s worth, if you do not use the promo code for a free swimsuit, shipping is free on orders of $25 or more—which constitutes every single item on the site minus one hat.)
At 6:30pm EDT, I received an email with the promo code for the free suit I had already ordered.
In a year characterized by a global pandemic and murder hornets, Tiger King and fall Coachella (that is probably not seeing the light of day, even in October), a swimsuit brand bringing back a somewhat spammy giveaway is far from the worst thing to happen. And honestly, it feels kind of right, like your high school ex, now divorced and balding, sliding back into your DMs to ask “how’s your quarantine going?”. It feels on-brand.
But if this quest taught me anything, it’s that lightning rarely strikes twice—and just like your crusty high school ex, some things are better left in the past.
Update: At 4:31am EDT, I heard back from Sunny Co Clothing on Instagram. A rep said they decided to re-run the campaign because “it is great for publicity” and the initial campaign “really put us on the radar”. They admitted, “The first time we were a college start up. We had 600 total orders for our company… We only had 70 ambassadors at the time of that giveaway. We ended up giving away 50,000 which was way more then what we had expected. This time we are fully prepared we know how this campaign works.” They also said “To enter the promotion all the have to do is share it on their story”.
Images: Sunny Co Clothing; Sara Levine (4); ophiecumpton, chamillay, sierraforlove / Twitter; Thought Catalog / Unsplash
UPDATE: Back in March, we went through a viral Twitter thread, in which dozens of people shared their negative experiences with Ellen DeGeneres. Some of them were funny, some of them were disturbing, but they all backed up long-simmering rumors that the Kindness Queen might not actually be all that nice. Not long after that thread, Ellen was criticized for how her staff was being treated during the pandemic, and this week, BuzzFeed News published a searing report detailing the “toxic work culture” at Ellen, with numerous current and former employees claiming they “faced racism, fear, and intimidation” during their time at the show.
One former employee, a Black woman, told BuzzFeed that she repeatedly “experienced racist comments, actions, and ‘microaggressions'” during her time at the show. Once, a “senior-level producer” told her and another Black employee with a similar hairstyle, “I hope we don’t get you confused.” At one point, she was labeled the “PC police” by the show’s writing staff for asking that they avoid using certain problematic phrases in segments. She says that she wasn’t taken seriously when she brought these and other issues to her boss, and eventually she was reprimanded for “looking resentful and angry” by raising concerns. After that day, she chose not to return to the show, and hasn’t worked in entertainment since.
Multiple employees quoted in the new report have stories about being fired after taking necessary medical leave. One employee recalled that during their time at the show, they took a month-long medical leave after a suicide attempt. Upon returning to work, they were informed their role was “being eliminated.” The employee told BuzzFeed News, “You’d think that if someone just tried to kill themselves, you don’t want to add any more stress to their lives.” Another former employee said they were fired suddenly after, in a one-year period, they needed to take a three-week medical leave after a car accident, and a few days off to attend funerals. They added that “Each request was a battle with supervisors and HR.” Both of these specific cases were corroborated by medical records and other employees.
In a statement, the show’s executive producers (Ellen not included), said “Over the course of nearly two decades, 3,000 episodes, and employing over 1,000 staff members, we have strived to create an open, safe, and inclusive work environment. We are truly heartbroken and sorry to learn that even one person in our production family has had a negative experience. It’s not who we are and not who we strive to be, and not the mission Ellen has set for us.” They said that responsibility for these things falls completely on them, and vowed to action moving forward to correct problems in the workplace.
Ellen DeGeneres is also an executive producer on her show, but she has not made any statement about the allegations in the BuzzFeed News report.
Original Article: Right now, a lot of us are spending a lot of time on Twitter, and it can be a scary place. Between people posting their nudes out of sheer boredom and threads from doctors about how we’re probably all going to die, we all need a bright spot. Thankfully, this weekend brought us a viral Twitter thread that has absolutely nothing to do with coronavirus, and everything to do with Ellen DeGeneres maybe being evil.
If that sentence was jarring for you, I’m sorry, but it’s time that you know. While Ellen’s public persona is relentlessly joyful, stories about her tyrannical behavior have been bubbling under the surface for a while. I’ve alluded to this before, but on Friday, comedian Kevin T. Porter invited people to share “the most insane stories you’ve heard about Ellen being mean” in exchange for donations to the LA Food Bank. Ooh, we love a charitable moment that also gives us good gossip. Buckle up, because illusions will be shattered.
Right now we all need a little kindness. You know, like Ellen Degeneres always talks about! 😊❤️
She’s also notoriously one of the meanest people alive
Respond to this with the most insane stories you’ve heard about Ellen being mean & I’ll match every one w/ $2 to @LAFoodBank
— Kevin T. Porter (@KevinTPorter) March 20, 2020
Kevin’s original tweet has over 1,000 responses, and while some of them are people complaining that this whole exercise is mean-spirited, many of the tweets make it seem like Ellen is the mean-spirited one here. (Also, we’re raising money for charity, so stop complaining.) Obviously, it’s difficult to know if each story is 100% true, but you know, where there’s smoke there’s fire, and this is a lot of f*cking smoke.
One of the most disturbing stories was about a woman returning from maternity leave. After working for Ellen for “over 5 years,” this woman claims she found a different job with more benefits after having her baby, but went back to Ellen after she “BEGGED” her to return. Then what happened? Ellen fired her after a week. Who knows what exactly went down here, but it definitely seems shady.
After working for Ellen for over 5 years, close friend left to have baby, & found different job on a union network show (benefits etc), Ellen BEGGED her to return then fired her after 1 week, no reason given, and friend struggled for long time w new baby and no benefits etc.
— Cassandra Tells You So (@MissAbsinthe) March 21, 2020
That’s not the only story about her allegedly screwing over a long-time employee. Someone pointed out that Karen Kilgariff, best known as the cohost of My Favorite Murder, was the head writer on Ellen’s show for years—until the historic writer’s strike of 2007. Allegedly, Ellen wanted Karen to cross the picket line and come back to work, but she refused. In response, this tweet claims that Ellen fired her, and the two have never spoken since. Ouch.
Karen Kilgariff was her head writer for 5 years until the writers' strike. When Karen wouldn't cross the picket line she was fired and Ellen never spoke to her again.
— J. Fisher (@elpez3) March 20, 2020
Another account came from someone who says she served Ellen and her wife Portia at brunch. According to the tweet, Ellen “wrote a letter to the owner & complained about chipped nail polish.” She says that she almost got fired because of this, which is just insane. I’m glad she also tagged the restaurant, because if she actually almost got fired for some chipped nails, that’s not okay. Just because Ellen is (allegedly) psycho doesn’t mean we all have to just live in her fantasy world.
I worked @RealFoodDaily, served her & Porsha at brunch. She wrote a letter to the owner & complained about my chipped nail polish (not that it was on her plate but just that it was on my hand). I had worked till closing the night before & this was next morn, almost got me fired.
— Chris Farah (@ChrisLFarah) March 20, 2020
One of my personal favorite Ellen stories that came out of this, though, is about her “sensitive nose.” According to this tweet, she’s super sensitive to smell, “so everyone must chew gum from a bowl outside her office before talking to her.” Okay, what? Maybe I don’t understand the sensitive nose life, but how close is Ellen standing when she’s having conversations with these people? I’ll never turn down a free piece of gum, but this sounds like a personal problem.
A) She has a "sensitive nose" so everyone must chew gum from a bowl outside her office before talking to her and if she thinks you smell that day you have to go home and shower.
— Benjamin Siemon (@BenjaminJS) March 20, 2020
Writer and comedian Benjamin Siemon came armed with several bits of Ellen tea, also claiming that she likes to pick “someone different to really hate” every day. Reportedly, she always has a different target of choice, and then the next day she’ll move on to someone else. At the very least, this is textbook toxic boss behavior, and it’s easy to see why working for her could be a nightmare if this stuff is true.
B) A new staff member was told "every day she picks someone different to really hate. It's not your fault, just suck it up for the day and she'll be mean to someone else the next day. They didn't believe it but it ended up being entirely true.
— Benjamin Siemon (@BenjaminJS) March 20, 2020
There are many more entertaining responses, so you should check out the full thread if you have some time to kill while you’re “working from home” today. Again, they may or may not be true, but I’ve laughed a lot either way.
On Sunday, Kevin T. Porter circled back with an update. While he said it’s tough to tell exactly which stories are true, he rounded for a final donation of $600 to the LA Food Bank. Great work, Kevin, and great work to everyone who shared these stories. Call me messed up, but this is the sh*t that warms my cold, dead heart.
Well this got out of hand! It’s now hard to tell which stories are real or not, so I’ve rounded up to 300 and donated $600! pic.twitter.com/dX08ybhdos
— Kevin T. Porter (@KevinTPorter) March 22, 2020
So yeah, thinking about all the people Ellen DeGeneres may (allegedly) have yelled at is what’s getting me through this day of social distancing. If you have any personal stories about Ellen being a monster, feel free to comment or slide into my DMs, because I really need something to smile about. Until then, I’ll be watching old clips of Wendy Williams, my daytime talk show queen. Wendy is messy, but at least she owns it!
Images: David Crotty/Getty Images; kevintporter, missabsinthe, elpez3, chrislfarah, benjaminjs / Twitter
If you noticed that your friends and coworkers were stalking Instagram even more rabidly than normal on Wednesday, it probably has something to do with the 11-part series Humans of New York posted about Bobby Love. The account, which is typically known for its one-off Instagram portraits of New Yorkers with long captions of them telling a story of their lives, did something f*cking genius today and told a story in 11 parts on their Instagram, via captions, throughout the day. If you’re into learning about crime and the justice system, or if you love a good love story, or both, then stop what you’re doing and read the whole series, and then send it to all your friends. If you’re not convinced, or you are skeptical of long Instagram captions, allow me to gently explain to you why you’re dead wrong about this.
The HONY series tells the story of Bobby Love and his wife Cheryl, a couple who met at the Baptist Medical Center. They were married for 40 years, had children, but the entire time, Bobby was hiding a dark past. And the story starts with the moment it all came crashing down.
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(1/11) “It was just a normal morning. Almost exactly five years ago. I was making tea in the kitchen. Bobby was still in bed. And we get this knock on the door. I opened it up slowly, and saw the police standing there. At first I wasn’t worried. We had this crazy lady that lived next door, and the police were always checking up on her. So I assumed they had the wrong address. But the moment I opened the door, twelve officers came barging past me. Some of them had ‘FBI’ written on their jackets. They went straight back to the bedroom, and walked up to Bobby. I heard them ask: ‘What’s your name?’ And he said, ‘Bobby Love.’ Then they said, ‘No. What’s your real name?’ And I heard him say something real low. And they responded: ‘You’ve had a long run.’ That’s when I tried to get into the room. But the officer kept saying: ‘Get back, get back. You don’t know who this man is.’ Then they started putting him in handcuffs. It didn’t make any sense. I’d been married to Bobby for forty years. He didn’t even have a criminal record. At this point I’m crying, and I screamed: ‘Bobby, what’s going on?’ Did you kill somebody?’ And he tells me: ‘This goes way back, Cheryl. Back before I met you. Way back to North Carolina.’”
Bobby Love, who was born Walter Miller, then discusses his upbringing and how he ended up in the situation he found himself in.
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(2/11) “Back in the day my name was Walter Miller. It was a pretty normal childhood. We grew up poor, but nothing really dramatic happened until I went to a Sam Cooke concert at the age of fourteen. I was excited to be at that concert, so I pushed my way to the front row—right near the stage. The crowd was really moving, because it was dance music. And Sam Cooke didn’t like that. He kept telling people to sit down. And after only two songs, he got so angry that he walked off the stage. So I screamed at the top of my lungs: ‘Sam Cooke ain’t shit!’ And in North Carolina, back in 1964, that was enough to get me arrested for disorderly conduct. Things went downhill pretty quick after that. My mother was raising eight kids on her own, so she couldn’t control me. I got into all sorts of trouble. I lifted purses from unlocked cars. I was stealing government checks out of mailboxes. I got bolder and bolder, until one day I got busted stealing from the band room at school. They shipped me off to a juvenile detention center called Morrison Training School. I hated everything about that place. The food was terrible. The kids were violent. I still have scars from all the times I got beat up. Every night, while I was falling asleep, I could hear the whistle of a freight train in the distance. And I always wanted to know where that train was going. So one night, when the guard turned his back to check the clock, I ran out the back door– toward the sound of that whistle. And that was the first place I ever escaped from.”
After escaping from the juvenile detention center, Walter ended up in D.C., but his old habits quickly caught up with him, and he ended up back in prison—this time, he was sentenced for 25 years to life. At first, he was placed in a maximum security facility that was pretty easygoing (as far as prisons go, I suppose). He even got transferred down to minimum security, which had far more freedoms, due to good behavior. But eventually, his conditions worsened and he knew he had to escape again.
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(5/11) “Everything changed for me when someone screamed ‘punk ass’ at the prison captain. He was walking through the parking lot. It was early in the morning, and it was still dark, so he couldn’t see who did it. I was working in the kitchen, so there was no way it could be me. But the captain said that he recognized my voice—and he wrote me up. After that he started picking on me. I tried to keep my head low. But the more I tried to do good, the more I got punished. He wrote me up for all kinds of phony things. He accused me of stealing a newspaper. He accused me of faking sick. The negative reports kept piling up, until I was one mark away from being sent back up the hill. And that’s when they started putting me on the road. It was the worst job in the prison. They’d call your name before sunrise, and you had to get on this bus. Then they’d drive you all over Raleigh to clean trash off the highways. It was awful. People would be throwing hamburgers and milkshakes at you. And it was almost winter, so it was starting to get cold. That’s when I started planning and plotting. I saved up my money. I memorized the bus route. I noticed that we always stopped at a certain intersection—right next to a wooded area. And I figured I could make that distance in no time at all. I also noticed that the guard who worked on Tuesday never searched the prisoners as they boarded the bus. So one Monday night, while we were watching the Colts game on TV, I made the decision. That was going to be my last night in prison.”
What happened next is truly impressive. Ted Bundy couldn’t pull off an escape this good.
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(6/11) “I cleaned out my locker before I went to sleep. I wanted to leave nothing behind. No phone numbers. No addresses. Nothing they could use to find me quick. Because I worked at the radio station, I was allowed a single pair of civilian clothes. I put those on beneath my prison garments and wore everything to bed. I didn’t sleep a wink that night. Every three hours the guards did a head count, and I kept seeing that flashlight shine on the wall. When the sun finally came up, I jumped out of bed and splashed water on my face. Then I glanced out the window. The careless guard was stationed at the gate. The one who never patted down the prisoners. So I said: ‘That’s it, I’m leaving.’ I got on the bus and went to the very back row, right next to the emergency exit. It was a five minute drive to the wooded area. As we slowed down for a stop, I swung open the back door– and I was gone. I could hear the alarm blaring behind me, but I didn’t look back. I peeled off my green clothes and just kept running. The sweat was coming off me. I looked like trouble, so I did my best to keep out of the white neighborhoods. Every time I passed a brother, I asked for directions to the Greyhound station. Everyone kept telling me: ‘Keep going, keep going, keep going.’ When I finally got there, I found a brother in the parking lot who agreed to buy me a one way ticket to New York. I waited until the last minute. I jumped on the bus right as the driver was closing the door. Then I slunk down in my seat while we drove out of Raleigh. Once we got on the highway, the girl next to me started making small talk. She asked me my name. I thought for a moment, and said: ‘Bobby Love.’ And that was the death of Walter Miller.”
This is officially better than any Orange is the New Black episode.
Bobby then describes how he started over a whole new life from scratch, with only $100 to his name. With a whole lot of savvy and some luck, he managed to get a Social Security Card (I barely know what to do with my SSN, so seriously impressed over here), and from there he got a birth certificate and driver’s license. He landed a job working at the cafeteria in the Baptist Medical Center, which is where he met Cheryl, who would become his wife.
But what I love about this story is that we get both sides, Bobby’s and Cheryl’s. Because while Bobby was likely spending his years looking over his shoulder, waiting to see if his past would catch up with him, things were not all sunshine and rainbows for Cheryl, either. Because Cheryl always felt like something was missing, even though she didn’t know what it was. She felt a lot of distance, and that almost caused her to reach a breaking point in her marriage.
And then the truth came out.
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(10/11) “My world came crashing down. Bobby’s arrest was all over the papers. It seemed like the whole city was laughing at me. People at church would pull me aside, and whisper: ‘You knew about this right? You had to know.’ But I never knew. Forty years of marriage, four grown children, and I never knew. How could I be so stupid? I wanted to hide. I wanted to disappear. When I went to work that first day, everyone was gathered around the front desk. And they got real quiet when I walked in. But I told them: ‘Don’t just stand there. I need some love. Give me some hugs.’ Of course I was embarrassed, but I was more hurt than anything. Bobby had deceived me for all those years. There was no truth in our house. I’m walking past this man every single day. We laughing. We joking. And he’s not telling me anything? I was so angry. But I never hated him. I wanted to comfort him. I wanted to hold his hand. I told Bobby later, ‘That’s how I knew I loved you. Because even in the worst of it, I was thinking about you.’ When I first visited him in prison, he broke down crying. His head was in his hands, and he told me: ‘I know, you’re going to leave me.’ I told him: ‘No Bobby Love, I married you for better or for worse. And right now this is the worst.’”
I want to give Cheryl a million hugs, and also dollars, for her resilience. Like, guys out here in 2020 won’t even stay with you if you don’t want to cook them dinner every single night, and Cheryl stood by her man even after she knew he hid an entire previous identity and basically past life from her! We all need to take notes.
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(11/11) “I got to work. I wrote letters to the governor. I wrote letters to Obama. I gathered testimonials from everyone that Bobby ever knew: all the kids he used to coach, all the people at our church, all of our family members. I testified on his behalf. I didn’t know a thing about Walter Miller. But I told them all about Bobby Love. And the parole board took mercy. After a year in prison, they let him come home. The day after he was set free, I sat him down and asked: ‘What is it? Are we the Loves? Or are we the Millers?’ And he said: ‘We Love. We Love.’ So I had him change his name legally. And now we’re moving on. I still have my resentments. When we get in a fight, I’ll think: ‘This man better appreciate that I forgave him.’ But the thing is– I did forgive him. And when I made that decision, I had to accept all the territory that came with it. I can’t make him feel that debt every day of his life. Because that’s not the marriage I want to be in. The whole world knows now. We’ve got no secrets. But I think this whole mess was for the better of things: better for me, better for the kids, and better for Bobby. He doesn’t have to hide anymore. He can look at me when I’m speaking. Not only that, he’s hearing me too. My voice is heard. I used to walk on eggshells. I used to just go along. But I told him one thing. I said: ‘Bobby, I’ll take you back. But I’m not taking a backseat to you no more.’ Because I got my own story to tell. I can write a book too. I might not have escaped from prison, and started a whole new life, and hid it from my family. But I forgave the man who did.”
Personally, I feel like if you escape from prison and are able to outsmart the system for longer than you were in the system, they should be like, “ok you got us, we’ll call it a wash.” But I guess that’s why I don’t actually work in the justice system and I just bullsh*t about it on a podcast. Or maybe I should run for judge…
I only included a few selections of Bobby and Cheryl’s unbelievable story, but I highly, highly recommend you head over to the Humans of New York Instagram page and read the entire thing. I’m really not doing it justice here. This story is seriously incredible. I mean, it has everything: multiple escapes from incarceration. A second life. A love story. This is officially the only thing I care about.
I can’t wait for the bidding war that is bound to ensue over the rights to Bobby and Cheryl’s story. I’m hoping they each write a book, and then those books get individual series on Netflix and Hulu, and they live happily ever after. But until that happens, read the whole story in all its incredible 11 parts on Humans of New York, and then cancel all your plans so you can talk about it with everyone you know.
Images: Humans Of New York / Instagram (7)
Whether you hate the wedding-industrial complex, are a bride planning a wedding and want to feel better about your own demands, or just need something to read, we’re doing a new series where we share the craziest, most out-of-touch wedding story we found on the internet that week. Submit your own crazy wedding stories to [email protected] with the subject line Crazy Wedding Story, and we just might feature yours. And make sure to follow @BetchesBrides on Instagram and subscribe to our podcast, Betches Brides.
Welcome back to another Crazy Wedding Story of the week. This one is especially crazy and convoluted. It has everything: a ridiculously demanding bride, angry family members threatening to sue, and a twist you definitely won’t see coming. You’re so welcome that I’ve brought you this juicy incident to brighten your Wednesday. I know, I know—I deserve a f*cking medal. Or, in lieu of a medal, I will also accept $30,000 in donations—you’ll see why in a sec. I can’t really give an introduction to this story without giving too much of it away, so let’s just cut right to the chase.
Today’s crazy wedding story comes to us via the Choosing Beggars subreddit, which proves in and of itself to be gold. The premise of the subreddit is exposing choosy beggars, i.e., people who expect ridiculous freebies for no good reason. Highly recommend for your procrastinating-at-work pleasure. So when someone posted screenshots to r/choosingbeggars of a Facebook post in which a bride reveals she’s canceling her wedding after receiving a whopping $30,000 in donations, the post quickly went viral on the subreddit. Just in case we have some dirty deleting on our hands, here’s the screenshot of what went down:
HOLY SH*T. First of all, it’s nuts that this couple managed to raise $30,000 BEFORE the wedding. But that’s obviously not the real issue here. How in the actual sh*t does someone think it’s okay to collect tens of thousands of dollars from their friends and family, then pull a bait-and-switch? Then ask for MORE money and gifts?? The audacity of these people. I would be mildly impressed if I didn’t want to slap the sh*t out of them.
The thing with donating money to a cause is that you typically expect the money you give will, in fact, go to that cause. Sooooo flip-flopping and saying that you suddenly need to use that money for a lavish honeymoon BEFORE you’re even married (which, let’s be real, is simply a vacation) and to get yourselves financially stable, makes actually zero sense.
Here’s a hot tip: if you’re not financially stable, you probs shouldn’t be taking a $30k honeymoon. I’m no business insider, but that seems like pretty legit advice, right?
Also, you know that “rescheduled wedding” ain’t happenin’ and this is just a blatant cash grab. If I knew this person, not only would they not get another gift from me for their honeymoon, but they would never see another cent from me as long as we both shall live.
NATURALLY, every family member, guest, and wedding party member rightly freaked the f*ck out. The screenshots for you, my loves:
There’s so much more than even these, but can I get a rich uncle who just gives me like $12k? That’d be tight. Also, can we not with the one bridesmaid that’s like “I gave you $200 and I love you—I’m such a good friend”? Alright, Gretchen Wieners, take it easy.
The Plot Thickens
If the initial post and comments seemed a little wild even for the average psycho wedding story, you aren’t alone in being all, “hmmm.”
The detectives at Buzzfeed did some sleuthing and it looks as though this entire incident could have been a marketing ploy by some bullsh*t company. I mean, good job, marketing assholes. The post went up on Reddit on Monday and quickly was shared, like, everywhere because of how purely insane it is.
More screenshots of the family responses popped up on Monday night, but only via some f*cking website we’ve never heard of called CapturedIt.club, which seems a little weird. When it did go up, literally NOTHING ELSE was on the website. Sketch.
Any additional “comments” from family members had the Captured It Club watermark, which, like, again, seems a bit odd. If these are real screenshots, why are they watermarked with some rando website’s name? Damn, how did none of us pick up on this? I feel like a fool. Even more questionable, none of the Facebook posts had any reactions, which is pretty weird. You would think something of this caliber would be a sea of angry face emojis, wow faces, and dislike buttons. The nail in the coffin, though, is that GoFundMe has no record of a bride named Pam and her supposed fiancé, Edward. And despite mentioning an Amazon registry in her original post, no such Amazon registry for a Pam and Edward exists.
And, after Buzzfeed published their article exposing the fact that this whole story may have been a PR stunt, capturedit.club took everything down off their website and replaced it with this screenshot:
So… it looks like we’ve all been hustled, scammed, bamboozled, led astray. But now I have more questions than answers. Who/what is Ben Hobbs? What the f*ck is the point of this capturedit.club website in the first place? Why were we all so eager to believe that someone would scam their friends and family out of $30,000?
I guess I’ve got to hand it to the people behind this weird-ass website for fooling us all. But, honestly, I’m kind of sad this isn’t real. What does that say about me? Perhaps I’ll grapple with these existential dilemmas in next week’s crazy wedding story.
Images: Vitaliy Karimov / Shutterstock.com; Choosing Beggars / Reddit (6)
Ah, Jameela Jamil. Talented actress, champion of body positivity, and prolific tweeter. Jameela does important work helping to tear down the norms of problematic diet culture and harmful social media wellness practices, but she also has a habit of putting her foot in her mouth on social media. Over the last 24 hours, she’s been in a heated Twitter back-and-forth with Victoria’s Secret model Sara Sampaio, and it’s all one big mess. Tempers are high, things are getting condescending, and I’m not sure anyone is completely in the right, tbh. Let’s try to make sense of this, shall we?
A few days ago, Jameela Jamil reposted a video of a runway show in which several women are walking barefoot, dancing together, and generally just having a good time. No one in the video is super skinny, and Jameela took note. She said the show looked fun, then added “not a long-starved terrified teenager in sight.”
Oh my god 😍😍😍 this looks like the most fun, and not a long-starved terrified teenager in sight. Beautiful. https://t.co/hck5n6e9Xu
— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) October 13, 2019
And in the least shocking turn of events, this offended some people, namely models, namely Sara Sampaio. Sara is a Portuguese model who has worked with Victoria’s Secret since 2013. She criticized Jameela’s description of models as “extremely offensive,” and called her a hypocrite for going against her usual message of body positivity.
How about celebrating someone without bringing other people down? Calling runway models “long-starved terrified teenager” is extremely offensive. From someone that is always preaching for body positivity this just screams hypocrisy. https://t.co/JOBtY0yrui
— Sara Sampaio (@SaraSampaio) October 16, 2019
As we saw last week with the George W. Bush drama, Jameela Jamil isn’t one to back down from criticism on Twitter, and this was no exception. She clarified that she wasn’t referring to all models, and clarified that a “*vast* majority” of young models have issues with drugs and/or eating disorders. She also said that Sampaio should “try to calm down.” *Cringe emoji*
On the one hand, while I understand Sampaio’s argument that Jameela Jamil could have just celebrated the video without bringing anything negative into the narrative, that’s not really Jameela’s style. Her whole thing is calling out issues in beauty standards, and the fashion industry has long played into and profited from these toxic ideals. On the other hand, telling Sara Sampaio to “try to calm down” is extremely condescending, and it doesn’t make Jameela Jamil’s argument any stronger.
I also don’t preach “body positivity.” I talk about moving away from all talk of body, in order to combat our current pervasive issue of eating disorder culture, which is in NO small way perpetuated by the extreme thinness demanded of girls by the high fashion powers that be.
— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) October 16, 2019
After those first couple tweets, it was basically a free-for-all between Sara and Jameela, with each tweeting and responding with blocks of text every couple minutes. It’s really not important to read every single tweet, or analyze every word, because it’s not that complicated. Sara Sampaio obviously feels strongly about not making disparaging generalizations about models, and Jameela Jamil doesn’t give a sh*t about making the fashion industry look bad.
Sampaio talked about how eating disorders and drug use are a problem in society as a whole, not only in the modeling business, and that these problems don’t actually affect a “vast majority” of models (k, I’m gonna need a citation on that), like Jameela suggested.
You didn’t say all models, sure, but you still chose to attack girls just so you can celebrate others. Eating disorders, drugs and cocaine use aren’t a exclusive problem of models, it’s a huge problem is society as a whole. And when you talk like you know for sure majority of https://t.co/4hAIf379WP
— Sara Sampaio (@SaraSampaio) October 16, 2019
Sara also clarified that the only intention of her original tweet was to call out Jameela Jamil’s negativity: “I never said there wasn’t a problem with the industry, so don’t go around and put words in my mouth.” Honestly, this drama is more intense than 80% of Real Housewives feuds, which is saying something. Jameela Jamil then told Sara not to “police how I choose to celebrate something or call out something problematic,” before adding that her words “aren’t cute, or easy, or inoffensive.”
Okay, so while I agree with Jameela that we don’t have to be polite when trying to affect change in the world, that’s not the same thing as demanding a free pass to offend whoever you want along the way. Sara’s not trying to say that Jameela should stop doing this kind of work, just that this specific tweet could have stayed on a positive note instead of slamming a whole group of people for basically no reason.
Don’t police how I choose to celebrate something or call out something problematic. I was celebrating that it’s a refreshing change, compared to the toxic fashion show norm. I’m an activist. My words aren’t cute, or easy, or inoffensive. Change doesn’t come from being polite. https://t.co/NqvfwTeixP
— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) October 16, 2019
So all of that (and more that I didn’t embed because it was just too much) happened on Tuesday night, ending at around 1opm. But that’s not the end!! Jameel Jamil fired up her Twitter machine once again this morning, going all the way back to Sara’s original response to her tweet. Girl, at this point, the horse is dead. Stop beating it.
Also @SaraSampaio , you MIDUNDERSTOOD the tweet in the first place… it was Not taking aim at *kids* for being starved and afraid. It’s definitely not *their* fault. Who on EARTH would blame children? it was taking aim at this (unbelievably fucked) industry. Which is RIGHT to do https://t.co/K3DkuRmIG7
— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) October 16, 2019
After all of what happened on Tuesday night, Jameela claimed that Sara didn’t even understand the intent of her tweet in the first place. After all of that!!!! Jameela, I’m not gonna tell you how to live your life, but if someone misunderstands your point, perhaps try letting them know in the first response, rather than 10 rounds of petty tweets later. She said that her tweet wasn’t taking aim at the starved teenagers, but actually the fashion industry as a whole.
By this point, it doesn’t really matter, but Sara did criticize Jameela for “attacking girls,” so she can correct her if she wants. But Sara also understandably called out Jameela this morning for her “constant condescending tone” when responding to her, and told her to have a nice life. Wowwww, this is so petty, and I love it.
This is the last I’ll say on this. Your constant condescending tone is just unnecessary, and makes it impossible to actual have a conversation. Hope you have a nice life. Wish you all the best.
— Sara Sampaio (@SaraSampaio) October 16, 2019
Despite Sara’s best efforts to shut the feud down, Jameela wasn’t done, and she followed this up with her most personal attack yet. She fully went for the jugular, saying that Sara works “for a transphobic, fat phobic company,” and that she should check herself “before you start policing me for calling out an industry wide epidemic of harm to young girls.”
You also proudly work for a transphobic, fat phobic company @SaraSampaio . Victoria’s Secret is a brand that sets out to exclude most women, so I would check yourself on that before you start policing me for calling out an industry wide epidemic of harm to young girls. https://t.co/e8HKFPQ71X
— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) October 16, 2019
Honestly, this one left me speechless. Up until this point, the argument had stayed pretty squarely focused on the issue at hand. They can debate Jameela’s message on the tweet as much as they want, but Jameela really took it to a new level by attacking the job that has, by far, been the defining part of Sara’s career. And, I mean, she is not wrong…
If you’re speaking out against what your company did then GREAT. I look forward to seeing your activism on that with your big profile. You seem passionate about speaking out. So best of luck to you on helping young girls and trans people in this business. ❤️ https://t.co/UdQNCJrtb6
— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) October 16, 2019
Despite saying she was done with the feud, Sara couldn’t ignore Jameela’s attack on her career, and came back for one last tweet, in which she acknowledged Victoria’s Secret’s mistakes, and said that they’ve “been working on changing that.” She made one more dig at Jameela, saying that she’s made big mistakes in the “pass” too, but then said that she’s not going to turn to “personal attacks to try to win some stupid twitter feud.”
Oh my god, you guys, I am so tired. Honestly, it’s comical that these two women got so involved over something that started with a dumb tweet about a fashion show that was meant to be positive, but that’s just the world we live in. I now know way more about Sara Sampaio than I ever intended to, and honestly, she’s pretty great at being petty on Twitter, so I kinda like her. Between Jameela’s relentless dedication to her causes and Sara’s unwillingness to back down, this was unknowingly a matchup for the ages.
Images: Shutterstock; jameelajamil (6), sarasampaio (3) / Twitter
Yesterday started out just like any other mediocre American Tuesday. Birds were singing, politicians were tweeting, and millennials around the country were trying to find jobs that would help them pay off their thousands of dollars in student loan debt while simultaneously not making them want to die (aka: the dream).
So, naturally, when 24-year-old Emily Clow went to apply for a Marketing Coordinator position with the company, Kickass Masterminds, she didn’t exactly have the highest of hopes. I mean, this is 2019. People with their masters are working at The Gap and as the great Pam Beesly once said, “I applied to Old Navy, Target and Wal-mart. None of ’em called me back. Not even for an interview.”
Things are pretty bleak in the ol’ job market for us.
Clow’s mentality? Best case, she’d get a neat job with what appeared to be a cool, female-forward company in the general direction she was hoping to take her career. Worst case? She’d never hear back from them and will have wasted a few minutes of her life by applying via the Indeed easy application service.
OR SO SHE THOUGHT *bum bum bum*!!!!!!!!!!!
After applying on Indeed around 9:40am, Clow was sent a link with the second part of the application asking about her marketing background, how she would describe herself, to tell a story proving her “grit and toughness,” etc. etc. etc. Usual HR bs to weed out the weirdos. This is where things take a turn for the ~scandalous.~
According to Clow, just after submitting the second half of her application, a message appeared saying that “following their Instagram gives applicants an advantage over other applicants.”
And because our girl gets after it, she gave the company a follow around 11:15am. She scrolled through its posts. She checked out its audience. And then, she clicked on its stories.
There, posted for the company’s followers, interested candidates, and quite literally anyone else with internet access to see, was a bikini photo taken from Emily Clow’s very own Instagram that was posted in JUNE. And because words will never do justice to just how f*cked up this post was, I’ll allow you to see for yourself:
— Emily Clow (@emilyeclow) October 1, 2019
Ho-ly f*ck, right?
“I was shocked to see an employer I was intrigued by and hoping to at least interview with would shame me so publicly through their company Instagram,” said Clow. “It took me a while to read the captions of the story fully.”
And once she did? Things didn’t really get better. I mean, imagine seeing one of your (warranted and acceptable, albeit envy-inducing) like-trap swimsuit photos being literally blasted around the internet saying “this is how you don’t get jobs.” F*cked up, right?
“It made me feel as if they were judging my bikini pics and comparing it to my work ethic, which they hadn’t even discussed with me or past employers with at this time.”
THEY DIDN’T EVEN TALK TO HER CONTACTS. They just saw her hot-ass profile and were like “nope, this girl posts pictures in her swimsuit. In 2019. Let’s shame the sh*t out of her for being hot? Being confident? Understanding the market of her followers? Instead of just casually rejecting her resume without making a fuss (which is still, of course, f*cked up).”
The craziest part? Clow wasn’t even following them yet when they posted the picture. She didn’t send her Facebook with her resume (because she’s not a mom with cats and attachment issues), and she didn’t even send a f*cking headshot, which is something I guess hot people do sometimes for influencer and brand ambassador positions. She straight up just sent her resume and got this nonsense. And at first? The shaming worked.
“I sat on the decision to reach out for a bit, but I did eventually stating how I had archived the picture,” which is now, thankfully, back. Because a picture that good does not belong hidden in archives because some assholes made you feel falsely inferior, “along with an ‘I appreciate the advice’ message.”
Ready for it guys? Ready? READY? It’s so good. Here’s the response she got:
“I sent an email shortly after my first DM to the company saying how I recently applied to the Marketing Coordinator position. I attached my resume and cover letter for their convenience, acknowledged that they were going through applications, and said how I hoped to hear from them soon in regard to the position. At the end of the email, I stated, ‘PS — Please take down the picture of me from your Instagram story. Thank you for understanding.’”
Even at THIS point, Clow is being gracious despite the fact that this is some mean girl sh*t if I’ve ever seen it. Wanna guess how the company responded?
“The company blocked me after they replied ‘Best of luck,’ on Instagram.”
They blocked her. This “marketing” (I put it in quotes because this is the silliest example of marketing I’ve ever seen) “company” (I put this in quotes because I’m on the edge of my seat to see if this will still even be a company by the time this piece publishes) blocked an applicant who politely asked them to take down a harassing photo of her that she didn’t give permission for them to use.
Whew! What is this? The marketing team of Caroline Calloway? Kidding, they would never make a mistake like this. Anyway, I digress. At this point, Clow is starting to get rightfully upset. I would have f*cking burned sh*t down by now, but she’s been handling this straight-up sexual harassment with a patience and inner zen that I have never known.
So, after the company put her on blast for no reason, blocked her, AND shamed her, she decided it was time to turn the tables juuuuuust a little bit.
“I posted a personal story tagging the company and calling out their behavior on my personal Instagram and Twitter after they blocked me.”
Now, before we move forward, I need to tell you all a secret: I know Emily Clow. I’ve worked with Emily Clow. I’ve hung out with Emily Clow. And I get the whole “how can girls be hot and also smart, driven, AND cool” jealousy that exists, but the thing is? Emily Clow is one down-to-Earth bitch. I hate everyone and trust me, I tried. But she’s kinda the full package. So, knowing this, I was outraged (and now officially invested).
So, just after posting to Twitter and getting a HEAP of responses (yet still no response from Kickass Masterminds and STILL no removal of her photo), Clow decided to send screenshots to @sheratesdogs around 1:30pm in the hopes that a large account could help get her photo down. Less than an hour later, @sheratesdogs posted the story.
This girl applied for an internship at a company, and they put up this screenshot of her in a bikini on their company Instagram, publicly telling everybody they wouldn’t hire her because of this photo. pic.twitter.com/aRQF7CqfSF
— SheRatesDogs (@SheRatesDogs) October 1, 2019
Less than two hours later, Kickass Masterminds’ Instagram went private (not to mention the photo was deleted without comment), and less than an hour after THAT their entire web presence went dark. The job listing was taken down. The website was mysteriously down for “scheduled” lol “maintenance” lol. The company metaphorically (and maybe literally) packed up, shredded the files, burned down the building, jumped ship, and pretended this ish never happened.
Naturally, as someone who loves
drama to fight injustice, I had to get to the bottom of what type of company would pull this punkass move. Turns out? It’s a female-founded, female-run company headed by Sara Christensen, who just so happens to be the smiling face of the girl who basically told Clow to eff off. The misogyny is coming from inside the house!
According to The Pitch Queen (where she guest-starred on a podcast):
“Sara Christensen is the feisty founder of Kickass Masterminds. She’s been a successful business owner for more than 20 years, starting and running five of her own profitable companies. Her largest business was producing revenue of $10 million per year and had 75 full-time employees when she sold it. She’s also owned a Marketing Communications Firm, a Jewelry Design Studio and a Wellness Business.
Before devoting her work full-time to her own businesses, Sara worked as the Head of Marketing and Business Development for several dot-com and high-tech companies.
She’s also a best-selling author and keynote speaker.”
Author, you say? Keynote speaker, you say? Let us dig. I (naturally) had to find her book and (naturally) had to see what sort of ideas she was peddling. Maybe tips about what to wear to the pool in 1812? How to feel less confident in your skin? How to be a smokeshow but not let people know you’re a smokeshow in your posts even though you’re obviously a smokeshow?
Nah, just a good old fashioned “love yourself and stand up for yourself even though you’re a woman in corporate America” bit. Lolz.
Lurve how this is the back of #KickassMasterminds founder, Sara Christensen's book. pic.twitter.com/PfjLyXUUdL
— Rachel Varina (@rachelvarina) October 2, 2019
So, Sara’s literal WHOLE brand is about learning to stop caring what people think to get ahead in business. You know, kind of what our girl Clow was doing when she APPLIED FOR THE POSITION. Gosh, I love the irony and trust me, it wasn’t lost on Clow.
“I am utterly baffled and appalled that a company started by women and that preaches about rebelling against corporate America would objectify applicants and use a traditional mindset when reviewing someone interested in marketing. I don’t believe it is unprofessional to wear a bathing suit during the summer in Austin. I didn’t realize being comfortable with my body while embodying a strong work ethic was so taboo.”
Neither did we, Clow. Neither did we. To say it’s baffling to the entire internet would be a massive freaking understatement at this point.
this is fucking hilarious, considering pic.twitter.com/dmjABdm4s3
— Emily Clow (@emilyeclow) October 1, 2019
At this point, I don’t know if Sara was the one who posted the photo or if some social media intern royally f*cked up, but the point is: Kickass Masterminds is well on its way to going viral, and not for the reason any company would want. But hey, any press is good press, right Sara?
“What I find incredible is the amount of support I have received,” said Clow. “Obviously, @sheratesdogs posting my story is the sole reason why the company went completely dark. I don’t know if I should thank them or not for it, but being able to have a voice in a generation where you can so easily be ignored really is powerful. Yeah, we made a small company in Austin go dark because they objectified me, but we still made a difference.
If it wasn’t me, they would’ve done it to another applicant and who knows what could have happened. I am glad to have been able to speak out and shed light on an issue that is very common (although I didn’t think it was in Austin anymore).”
Unfortunately for any of you wannabe marketers out there dying to join this cutting-edge company, it appears Kickass Masterminds is no longer accepting applications. Womp womp.
The best part? After all of this started going down, Clow received a notification that her application was viewed again by the company at 3:47pm on October 1st, a little over an hour after the story started getting traction online. Guess the applicant made quite the impression, huh?
So, when asked if Clow would take the position if it was offered to her now, (because at this point, who knows what will happen? The company could come back and be like “hey! We’ll make you president if you don’t sue”) she gave a resounding “FUUUUUCK NO.” JK, Clow is classier than that. What she did say, however, is:
“Absolutely not. One person said in my mentions to the company that, ‘it should make any person afraid to work in your organization for fear that they are going to be objectified and sexualized for just living their lives.’ I stand by that statement 110%. While I have considered legal action, with my name and face not being displayed in the story, there isn’t much I can do.”
So, what does Clow want to do now that she’s quite literally proven herself as a bomb-ass marketer, having gained close to 400 followers in like, 12 hours?
“I am looking at sales, marketing, and social media jobs. My dream job would be with Red Bull Media. The number of people, teams, and events they sponsor is absurd. To be a part of an ever-growing marketing team whose exposure is expanding exponentially would be incredible.”
Get at it, Red Bull. You know our girl is gonna get poached in a heartbeat because when all is said and done NOBODY PUTS CLOW IN THE CORNER!
Still, Sara Christensen has stated that it wasn’t the photo that disqualified Clow. In fact, Clow wasn’t disqualified at all. From Daily Mail:
“The woman in question was not disqualified because of her social media profile. In fact, she was not disqualified at all. There was no communication to her saying she was disqualified.
She requested that I remove it and I did immediately.”
Weird, because it sort of seemed like she was disqualified when her photo was posted on the company’s Instagram with the note about how that’s not how you get a job. Curious. Anyway, Clow’s response to all of this?
“I would hope they take a step back and reevaluate how they approach the vetting process for applicants. In our day in age, social media has become so loose and accepted by most employers as NOT representing someone’s work ethic and experience. I hope in the future that no other applicant has this experience. Although it has sparked a discussion about social media and job hunting, I don’t think a bikini pic should judge someone’s ability to do a job successfully.”
I’ll say it again for the folks in the back: NOBODY PUTS CLOW IN THE CORNER!!!!!!!!!!!
Images: emilyeclow (2), sheratesdogs, rachelvarina / Twitter; clowd_nine (2) / Instagram; kickassmasterminds.com; indeed.com