ESPN Reporter Britt McHenry Proved The Celebrity Spotlight Is Always On
It seems as though every day, there's a different headline surrounding one of our favorite public figures, and, more often than not, it's accompanied by damaging news.
From politicians to entertainers and everyone else in-between, celebrities are constantly in the media spotlight, regardless of their actions -- whether it's the President of the United States, a spokesperson for a popular soft drink or a couple getting divorced for undisclosed reasons.
The fact of the matter is, every move public figures make is closely monitored, whether they like it or not.
Most recently, ESPN correspondent Britt McHenry learned this lesson the hard way. McHenry, a stunning made-for-television blond, made headlines instead of reporting them, and for all the wrong reasons.
McHenry insulted the woman's appearance, her education and even pulled the "Don't you know who I am?" card. Yesterday, McHenry issued a statement via Twitter that explained she had allowed her emotions to get the best of her.
As in most cases, there are consequences for this type of erratic behavior. ESPN issued a statement that McHenry will have a one-week suspension, effective immediately.
Most people consider the suspension a simple slap on the wrist for her borderline verbal harassment.
The incident itself is causing such a stir on social media that the hashtag "#FireBrittMcHenry" was trending on Twitter just an hour after the video leaked. (In my opinion, McHenry should be grateful if she has a job to come back to after the dust settles.)
Celebrities are much more in control than they think, and as a coach who deals with public figures regularly, I've narrowed down the reasons that plague McHenry and the rest of society's upper echelon.
Going from zero to hero is never an easy task, regardless of the environment.
One day, you're flying under the radar, and the next thing you know, you're an overnight sensation; McHenry can relate to this sentiment.
She was hired by ESPN just last year. In what seems to be the blink of an eye, her Twitter account has blown up, and everyone has thrown her right in the middle of a media firestorm.
As a firsthand witness, I can conclude most celebrities have a hard time handling this sudden fame. Companies like TMZ and other tabloids are just chomping at the bit in hopes of having something to publish or expose.
They say with great power comes great responsibility, and that is where many public figures falter the most: They don't know how to conduct themselves when the attention never dissipates.
On top of dealing with a grueling schedule, they now have to learn to balance their personal lives, and sometimes, they just lose their cool. Unfortunately for McHenry, she unraveled right before our eyes.
People like McHenry carry this weight every day, and they are burdened with the demand of fitting into today's version of a "role model."
From their perspective, there's a fine line between careful and careless; the daily walk on eggshells is both mentally and emotionally draining.
Being on the media's radar forces a public figure to act in a globally acceptable way to lower the risk of negative publicity. This can prove to be an extremely difficult task -- just ask McHenry.
We have to keep in mind these individuals are just as human as we are, and they are prone to turbulent behavior every now and then.
As fans and followers of this crowd, we can be very demanding. We ask them to retweet us, to show up in our cities to play a concert and to do a sequel to a movie we loved. They're no strangers to this arduous existence, and this way of life can be overwhelming for a lot of them.
At times, they're forced to act a certain way just to keep their reputations intact and their armors shiny for the rest of the world to appreciate.
As soon as celebrities like McHenry hit the big time, they might as well waive most rights to the privacy they once enjoyed.
Being front and center comes with many sacrifices, the biggest of which is this deprivation of freedom. I'm not saying they're not at liberty to roam as they please, but it comes with a price.
Everywhere they go, they need to carefully plan ahead so their personal agendas feel as normal as possible (even with cameras following them from their front lawns to their favorite restaurants).
Imagine being hounded everywhere you go, inundated by all sorts of personal questions, having your picture taken and publicized week in, week out. It is extremely uncomfortable, with good reason.
Sometimes, we just want to get away with family and take a vacation. Guess what? The tabloid lens will capture that, too. There are no two ways around it.
In what will go down as an epic display of heinous conduct, it is safe to say Britt McHenry has an uphill battle in trying to make people forget recent history.
Her next move is to accept responsibility for her actions, endure time away from work and hope the world will somehow sweep this travesty under the proverbial rug.
I'm sure we all have an extremely regrettable episode in our lives in which we're grateful cameras weren't around to capture our massive lacks of judgment. Take a moment to sympathize, and put yourself in her shoes.
Would you want this tirade publicized all over social media so you could be the focal point of what not to do in life? I didn't think so.
I'm sure ESPN will make an example out of Britt McHenry, as they should. The network is no stranger to employee outbursts and has been known to give second chances to big time names such as Keith Olbermann, Bill Simmons and Stephen A. Smith.
The self-proclaimed worldwide leader in sports would be hard-pressed not to forgive Britt McHenry's transgressions and chalk this up to a rookie mistake.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of Elite Daily.