Britt McHenry: What Happened?

Sports Reporter Britt McHenry
Photo Source: Keith Allison via CC by-SA 2.0.

Anna Leary – Britt McHenry: we would LOVE to hear your side. We would love to know what happened for you to lose your cool so intensely. We want to hear from you.

If you, our reader, are a little bit lost, here’s the background: a reporter from a very popular sports network apparently let her “I’m on TV”-ness status go straight to her head and went on what appeared to be a fat-shaming, personal attack, nay, tirade, against an employee of the towing company which had taken possession of her supposedly illegally parked car.

I’ll let you watch the video and read the transcript on your own, but I’d like to delve into all that transpired.

The sports reporter allegedly called the towing employee uneducated, insulted her teeth, her weight, her station in life. I understand all of that—you’ve had a crappy, my-car-got-towed kind of day and you take your frustrations out undeservedly on others. But the kicker for me is that, while knowingly being filmed via a surveillance camera, the sports reporter asked the towing employee if she knew who she was, stated she was on TV, and threatened to sue said employee.

I am struggling to really figure out how I feel on this one. Would I want my employer to sanction me every time I am less-than-awesome outside of work? Certainly not. (And I have to thank my partner for reminding me of this very important point.)

But is Britt a just a “regular” lady with a “regular” job? Or is she a public figure because she’s on national television?  I am not certain that a week-long vacation is a proper way for a public figure to learn that her actions have real consequences. I feel like public figures are held to a higher standard as their reach goes much further than the rest of us. Her apology on Twitter doesn’t really feel like an apology at all. Honestly, it feels like the kind of thing a spoiled child would say when her parents force her to “apologize” after being the playground terror or pulling her sister’s hair. It doesn’t feel like she’s truly sorry for her actions, just sorry she got caught. Britt, please tell us your side of the story as I truly want to understand. What in the world happened?

I’m just really upset over this story because it feels like this kind of thing happens all too often—some people use their perceived power to belittle/discredit/embarrass someone else to get their way and they think it’s ok. Regardless of who you are or what another person has said in provocation–I just don’t think tearing someone down at their core, for who they are in this world, is the best solution.

Obvious moral of the story: don’t park in a private parking lot after hours and be surprised that your car got towed. Come visit Atlanta and you’ll learn that tip REALLY QUICKLY.


Anna Leary lives in Atlanta and knows that you never tempt the fate of the parking gods.