An Open Letter to Britt McHenry

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britt-mchenryDear Britt,

While I’m far from proclaiming the ‘incident’ the best thing that could have happened to your broadcasting career,  I’m also equally distant from those who believe this is something you’ll never be able to overcome.

I’ll admit the videotape of you, an on-air talent at ESPN, verbally berating the cashier at a towing company makes you seem like a sorority girl pissed to be missing the big mixer with the Thetas. You insulted the woman’s appearance and what you perceived as a lack of education in an ugly rant that the suits in Bristol decided merited a one-week suspension.

While your behavior was certainly cringe-worthy and not something I’d condone from my own child, you don’t need to be the parent of a high school student to know this type of condescending attitude isn’t all that unusual. Not acceptable, but also not uncommon.

Which brings us back to your future in broadcasting which, if you listen to the social media lynch mob, would conclude is non-existent. I respectfully (learn the meaning of that word) disagree.

The statement you posted on Twitter could be the start of your comeback. You covered some of the crisis communications bases, writing that you were sorry for your actions and vowing to learn from what you called “a mistake.” While some have dismissed your words as  insincere, PR-driven, or both, the fact is you apologized, a little  bit, and it will shorten your time as the Internet’s favorite celebrity punching bag.

(By the way, you neglected to say you were sorry to the employee you abused. Go do that now . . . I’ll wait here).

brittmchenry-400x356The bigger picture as far as your career at ESPN is that your tirade pales in comparison to actual criminal behavior exhibited by talent currently on the air at the network (I’m looking at you, Ray Lewis). Additionally, if you keep your potty mouth in check moving forward, you may find audiences can be very forgiving, especially for an incident that, while regrettable, is something anyone who has had a car towed and paid an exorbitant fee to get back can relate to in some way. Also, you’re very attractive which, as you know, doesn’t hurt.

The upside in all this is that your name recognition, of considerable importance in your line of work, is at an all-time high. Not gonna lie, ESPN is my go-to channel and I’ve got friends at the network, but I’d never heard of you before your little hissy-fit.  Not the best way to introduce yourself, but it does make your return must-see TV, and attracting viewers is all your bosses really care about. I’m sorry did you think they hired you because of your college degree?

I know you must be busy, the editors at Maxim are on line one, so I’ll let you go. While things may seem dark for you right now, you may ultimately look back on this as a career-making opportunity, and, hey, at least you got your car back.



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