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. Sarah Palin
On Wednesday night, for reasons that are still unclear to me (but I sincerely hope are somehow related to 4/20), Sarah Palin dropped in on the White House with her racist groupies, Ted Nugent and Kid Rock. Their objective? Apparently, to pose next to Hillary Clinton’s portrait and make fun of it.
Yes. Sarah Palin essentially treated the White House like an exclusive club where she just happened to have an “in” with the doorman. And then the group proceeded to mock one of the First Lady portraits.
It’s … a lot to process without feeling slightly nauseated.
Still got questions? ME TOO. BUT THERE ARE NO MORE ANSWERS. We just all get to know that the Palin Posse was scampering around the White House earlier this week for funzies.
2. This UC Berkeley Dean
The former dean of law at UC Berkeley, Sujit Choudhry, was recently involved in an investigation wherein his former assistant, Tyann Sorrell, claimed that he repeatedly sexually harassed her. It was determined during the investigation that the assistant’s claims were valid, and Choudhry admitted to “hugging, kissing, messaging or caressing Sorrell at least multiple times per week, as well as hugging and kissing other female employees.”
However, the investigation concluded this week, and Choudhry’s punishment was … not a punishment at all.
The university determined that Choudhry would continue to serve as a paid faculty member in “good standing” until he “voluntarily resigns” next year. He will also be “privy to travel reimbursements and research funding totaling over $97,000.”
Which is a pretty sweet deal for a guy accused of sexually harassing multiple subordinate employees, isn’t it?
Guess a man’s privilege supersedes any behavior which would normally be ground for automatic expulsion from a workplace!
3. Bill O’Reilly
This week, Billy O’Reilly was ousted from his perch at Fox News, due to multiple sexual harassment claims. However, O’Reilly will not be leaving the station empty-handed.
O’Reilly will receive a “golden parachute” upon his departure — and no, that is not a sexual activity preferred by our current president. It means that he will receive a hefty sum of money, in order to ensure that he goes quietly. And, it appears as though O’Reilly’s severance package will be especially generous/preposterous.
As Matthew Rozsa write for Salon:
O’Reilly’s annual salary is $25 million and under his amended contract, it seems that he could be eligible to receive as much as one year’s salary in his severance for being terminated by the network.
So, Bill O’Reilly will walk away from this debacle with an extra $25 million in his pocket — which, incidentally, is almost double the amount that he allegedly paid his female coworkers in hush money.
Good thing he was a white dude! I was worried he might walk away from this scandal having actually learned something!
4. Florida State Senator Frank Artiles
This Republican politician from Florida made waves this week when he angrily called his black colleague, Audrey Gibson (D), a “fucking asshole” and a “bitch.” During the confrontation, he also apparently referred to other (white) Senate GOP leaders as “n*ggers.”
Sen. Perry Thurston (D) attempted to mitigate the tense situation by having Artiles apologize to Gibson.
As Politico reports:
Thurston told Artiles he should apologize and arranged a meeting the following morning, Tuesday. But Artiles didn’t show. He said he had bills to present. He later acknowledged it was a mistake to miss out on the meeting.
Artiles later released a statement which attempted to apologize for the remarks — but it was honestly too little, too late.
“In an exchange with a colleague of mine in the Senate, I unfortunately let my temper get the best of me,” Artiles said in the statement. “There is no excuse for the exchange that occurred and I have apologized to my Senate colleagues and regret the incident profusely.”
Democrats are currently calling for Artiles’ resignation, but it seems highly unlikely, considering he has maintained his political position despite past accusations of assault and using anti-Muslim slurs.
In short: this man should not be making laws. And yet, for reasons that defy logic, he is comfortably seated in the upper echelon of the state’s government.
5. Will Smith
Look, Will Smith is great in so many ways — but those ways do not include assuming the beloved role of the Genie in Aladdin, made famous by Robin Williams in 1992.
And yet, that could very well be happening.
Reports this week stated that Smith is circling the genie role for the upcoming live-action remake of the Disney classic, which will be directed by Guy Ritchie.
Naturally, for many Aladdin fans, this new is both bizarre and … kind of unwelcome? Again, nothing against Will Smith, but … are we really proposing that he is the suitable followup to Robin Williams?
And, as Clover Hope writes for Jezebel:
If you’re thinking about doing this movie, Will, reconsider and think about doing a different movie. It’s hard to imagine anyone topping Robin Williams’ turn as the Genie in 1992’s Aladdin and, also, Will runs the risk of being the second coming of Shaq in ‘Kazaam.’
Don’t do it, Will! Just go back to thinking about a Fresh Prince reunion and leave this particular segment of my childhood in peace!