Susan Peirez was filmed by Marissa Rundell on a Delta Airlines flight when Peirez started complaining about being seated near Rundell’s toddler. Peirez even threatened to get the flight attendant fired when she wouldn’t help Peirez change her seat. She said: “You might not have a job tomorrow” to a flight attendant who was just trying to keep the peace.
Rundell posted the video of the incident to her Facebook page, where it had more than 2 million views. Rundell wrote on Facebook: “Thank you to the lovely Delta flight attendant for not letting this woman bully us. Karma is a bitch.”
But what happened next makes this story a tiny bit different than most viral rants.
Peirez was ultimately placed on leave from her job at the New York State Council on the Arts, and her name and image have been removed from their website. That’s a job that apparently comes with a salary of $95,000 a year, and Marissa Rundell feels bad about it. She told ABC News she had no idea her Facebook page was public, and thought the video would just be seen by family and friends — “I kind of feel bad for this lady. I don’t know her story, she doesn’t know mine. It might have been a misunderstanding.”
True. Maybe this woman was having a bad day, but when you’re on a plane, aren’t we all having a bad day?
Susan Peirez joins an ever-growing list of people whose lives have been significantly altered in a negative way because of widespread, Internet-based condemnation. The most famous of these individuals maybe Justine Sacco, a PR rep who tweeted: “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”
The backlash against Sacco was so swift and ruthless, that the hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet trended. Even our current President got in on the fun. Of course, he has since called African countries “shitholes,” and his punishment has been far less severe — nothing. His punishment was nothing.
Sacco and others were profiled in Jon Ronson’s book, “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed.” In the book, he writes: “We know that people are complicated and have a mixture of flaws and talents and sins. So why do we pretend that we don’t?”
But, what do you guy think? Does Susan Peirez deserve to lose her job, or is it an overreaction to how she acted in the video? Let us know in the comments.
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