It seems like not a week goes by without somebody pulling some lame or tasteless shenanigans that make us say, in unison, “Wait, what?”
Because if there’s one thing you can count on public figures for, it’s an endless stream of social gaffes, questionable choices, and tweets they definitely regretted in the morning.
Here are just a few folks who made this week’s list of unfortunate life choices. Let’s collectively learn from their unfortunate errors, shall we?
1. Survivor Contestant Jeff Varner
I know what you’re thinking: Survivor is still on? Apparently! And, weirdly, it’s somehow staying relevant thanks to the ability of its contestants to spew offensiveness.
On Wednesday night, Survivor contestant Jeff Varner attempted to preemptively ward off being voted off the island by pitting his teammates against one another and revealing what he perceived to be a “deception”: that fellow tribe member, Zeke Smith, is transgender.
Varner effectively outed Smith against his will, and people were understandably pissed.
Smith later responded to Varner’s comments in an essay for The Hollywood Reporter, saying:
I’m not wild about you knowing that I’m trans. An odd sentiment, I realize, for someone who signed up for two seasons of the CBS reality giant, “Survivor.” See, when I got on a plane to Fiji last March, I expected to get voted out third. I’d return home, laugh at my misadventure, and go about my life, casually trans in the same way that Zac Efron is casually Jewish.
But in calling me deceptive, Varner invoked one of the most odious stereotypes of transgender people, a stereotype that is often used as an excuse for violence and even murder. In proclaiming “Zeke is not the guy you think he is” and that “there is deception on levels y’all don’t understand,” Varner is saying that I’m not really a man and that simply living as my authentic self is a nefarious trick. In reality, by being Zeke the dude, I am being my most honest self — as is every other transgender person going about their daily lives.
Which is a very bittersweet sentiment from someone who may or may not have had any actual agency when it came to airing this particular episode.
As for Varner? He was voted off the island.
2. Jeffrey Lord
Early Thursday morning, CNN political commentator and President Trump supporter, Jeffrey Lord, told his fellow commentators to “Think of President Trump as the Martin Luther King of healthcare.”
Um, no thanks, Jeff! What you just said feels like it’s super fucking offensive!
Lord continued, saying, “When I was a kid, President Kennedy did not want to introduce the civil rights bill because he said it wasn’t popular, he didn’t have the votes for it, et cetera. Dr. King kept putting people in the streets in harm’s way to put the pressure on so that the bill would be introduced. That’s what finally worked.”
Naturally, the comment provoked almost immediately backlash from CNN commentator, Symone Sanders, who wasted no time in reminding Lord that “Dr. King was marching for civil rights because people that looked like me were being beaten. Dogs were being sicced on them. Basic human rights were being withheld from these people merely because the color of their skin. So let’s not equate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize winner, to the vagina-grabbing President Donald Trump.”
Jeffrey Lord may be an astoundingly tone-deaf and overreaching commentator, but sitting through his offensive comparison was (almost) worth it to hear Symone’s utterly perfect verbal vitriol.
3. Sean Spicer
Oh, Sean. If you weren’t a rotting pile of lunch meat, I would be forced to feel supremely sorry for you.
This week, the White House Press Secretary stuck his rather colossal foot in his mouth when he said that Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad was worse than Hitler, because “You had someone as despicable as Hitler, who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.” Which, as we all know, is not true.
Spicer later attempted to “clarify” that yes, Hitler did use chemical weapons, he somehow managed to make it worse by saying: “I think when you come to sarin gas, there was no, (Hitler) was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Ashad (sic) is doing—clearly, I understand, thank you—I appreciate that—there was not, in the, in the, he brought ‘em into, to the Holocaust centers, I understand that. But I’m saying the way that the sha—Assad used them, where he went into towns, dropped them down to innocent—into the middle of towns, it was brought, so, the use of it, I appreciate the clarification. ”
When he tried to clarify his clarification, it was … not any better:
WTF are you doing, Sean?
The Anne Frank Center promptly called for Spicer’s dismissal:
Honestly? It seems like it would be more merciful to fire him at this point.
4. This Guy From A New York Post Profile
The New York Post recently profiled 40-year-old Dan Rochkind, an executive in private equity, who claims that he will never again date “hot women” — which, he claims, is an active decision on his part, and not the result of hot women everywhere declining to touch him.
Yeah. What a gem.
The article is full of incredible quotes, such as “Beautiful women who get a fair amount of attention get full of themselves,” and, “Eventually, I was dreading getting dinner with them because they couldn’t carry a conversation.” Rochkind describes his fiancé, Carly, as a “softer beauty, someone you can take home and cuddle with, and she’s very elegant … she’s 5-foot-2, so she can’t be a runway model, but I think she’s really beautiful and is prettier than anyone I’ve dated.”
It’s basically the shallowest possible conversation you could have about women with a man who clearly doesn’t genuinely like or respect them in any way.
Run for the hills, Carly!
5. United Airlines
It’s been quite a week for United Airlines.
First, there was that little incident where they forcibly dragged a customer from an overbooked flight, even though he had paid for his seat.
Then, one of their passengers was allegedly stung by a scorpion that apparently fell into his hair from an overhead bin during a flight from Houston to Canada.
Nope, nope, nope. Sorry, United. You have officially scared me away