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 and/or annoying life choices. Let’s collectively learn from their unfortunate errors, shall we?
1. Ivanka Trump
This week, it was announced that Ivanka Trump, a woman who has no professional history in politics, would be receiving a West Wing office in the White House, as well as security clearance.
What will Ivanka be doing? Well, she has no official title, and is not an official White House employee — so, nobody really knows for sure. Which means there’s no oversight, and likely very little accountability. Ivanka also still owns her brand, so there are undoubtedly conflicts of interest and ethical problems at play. We do know one thing she won’t be doing:
Not surprisingly, people weren’t overjoyed at this blatant display of nepotism, particularly considering Trump dismissed any allegations that he was seeking to obtain security clearance for any of his children.
Cool, good to know that words don’t mean anything anymore.
2. Rick Perry
Former Texas Governer Rick Perry has never shied away from sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong (in particular, women’s uteruses and reproductive rights).
This week, however, Perry caused some controversy when he penned an essay for the Houston Chronicle detailing the recent student government elections at his alma mater, Texas A&M.
The university recently elected its first openly gay student body president, Bobby Brooks. However, there was initially some consternation over Bobby’s win, considering that his opponent, Robert McIntosh, won by 750 votes. However, McIntosh was ultimately disqualified due to intimidation tactics and failure to disclose proper expense reports regarding a campaign video, thereby giving Brooks the presidential title.
Perry was apparently so stirred up by this outcome that he claimed there was clear bias in regards to Brooks’ “diversity” (which I suppose is the conservative way of saying “gayness” above a whisper):
Now, Brooks’ presidency is being treated as a victory for “diversity.” It is difficult to escape the perception that this quest for “diversity” is the real reason the election outcome was overturned. Does the principle of “diversity” override and supersede all other values of our Aggie Honor Code?
Every Aggie ought to ask themselves: How would they act and feel if the victim was different? What if McIntosh had been a minority student instead of a white male? What if Brooks had been the candidate disqualified? Would the administration and the student body have allowed the first gay student body president to be voided for using charity glow sticks? Would the student body have allowed a black student body president to be disqualified on anonymous charges of voter intimidation?
We all know that the administration, the SGA and student body would not have permitted such a thing to happen. The outcome would have been different if the victim was different.
Um, okay, Rick. Way to stand behind your fellow straight white dudes, no questions asked.
Oh, and if you’re so concerned about adhering to the result of the popular vote, I have three words for you: HILLARY. FUCKING. CLINTON.
3. The CEO of THINX
THINX, the feminist company responsible for the creation of period panties, has an admirable mission. Unfortunately, the woman who helmed that mission, THINX former CEO and founder Miki Agrawal, has been accused of practicing some highly questionable leadership tactics — such as sexually harassing her employees.
This week, a former THINX employee told New York Magazine’s The Cut that Agrawal “groped her employees’ breasts, talked at length about her sex life, changed frequently in front of her employees and Face Timed them from the toilet and while apparently naked in bed.”
Agrawal also apparently fat-shamed prospective THINX customers. When it was suggested that the company produce THINX in larger sizes, Agrawal reportedly said that “anyone larger than a 3X ought to go to the gym and lose weight rather than purchase new underwear.”
Not surprisingly, Agrawal has since stepped down as CEO, though she is still employed by THINX.
4. Senator Pat Roberts
Do you know who Pat Roberts is? He’s a Republican U.S. senator from Kansas who apparently thinks that mammograms are an irrelevant feature of health care coverage. (If you didn’t know that, don’t worry, your life is probably better for it.)
When reporter Alice Ollstein asked Roberts about doing away with Essential Health Benefits (which currently require health insurance plans to cover basic things like hospitalization and prescription drugs) as part of the GOP healthcare plan, Roberts issued the most ignorant possible remark:
Roberts later apologized for the flippant quip, saying “I deeply regret my comments on such an important topic. I know several individuals whose lives have been saved by mammograms, and I recognize how essential they are to women’s health. I never intended to indicate otherwise, and I apologize for my comments.”
Glad you can stoop low enough to see the benefits of women’s healthcare, Pat. Oh, and for the record — men occasionally need mammograms, too.
5. John Mayer
John Mayer (yes, he still exists) recently allowed the New York Times to observe on set during the filming of his newest music video, which is allegedly “Asian” in theme.
Yes — that nervous feeling in your gut is correct. The music video is apparently the epitome of cultural stereotypes and oversimplification.
According to the Times, the set featured “a makeshift bamboo forest, a woman in full geisha garb and two people in giant panda suits, making up a bizarre tableau that Mr. Mayer called a ‘disco dojo.'”
Mayer doesn’t understand why people might be offended, and told the publication that “I think we were as sensitive as we could possibly be,” despite the fact that the entire video concept seems to be essentially poking fun at Asian culture.
However, as Cosmopolitan‘s Helin Jung writes, “Is the bar so low at this point that it’s groundbreaking simply to not cast a white person to play an Asian person?”