Britt McHenry, the ESPN reporter who was suspended for a week after a video of her berating a tow-lot employee surfaced, has drawn the wrath of an obesity group that wants McHenry to apologize personally to the employee she savaged.
James Zervios, the vice president of marketing and communications for the Obesity Action Coalition, told TheWrap on Friday that McHenry’s comments were “unacceptable.”
“The OAC feels that Ms. McHenry’s comments were inappropriate and only further perpetuate the issue of weight bias. We wouldn’t accept this type of behavior with any other disease, yet with obesity, it’s accepted,” Zervios said.
In the video, which made headlines Thursday, McHenry verbally belittled the employee of a company that had towed her car on a number of personal fronts, mocking her education and appearance.
“Lose some weight baby girl,” McHenry can be seen telling the employee at one point in the video, recorded April 6.
McHenry apologized for the rant via Twitter, writing, “In an intense and stressful moment, I allowed my emotions to get the best of me and said some insulting and regrettable things. As frustrated as I was, I should always choose to be respectful and take the high road. I am so sorry for my actions and will learn from this mistake.”
Zervios said that his organization would like McHenry to extend her apology to the employee herself, telling TheWrap, “we are encouraging her to reach out directly to the woman in the video and apologize personally.”
The Obesity Action Coalition is “dedicated to giving a voice to the individual affected by the disease of obesity and helping individuals along their journey toward better health through education, advocacy and support,” according to the organization’s website.
In the video, McHenry threatened legal action against Advanced Towing in Arlington, Virginia.
“I’m in the news, sweetheart, I will fucking sue this place,” McHenry told the employee.
Ironically, in a Facebook post just days before the video was recorded, McHenry encouraged understanding and kindness among her followers.
“Take the high road and be nice to people,” McHenry wrote on March 29, the New York Daily News reports. “Amazing how a small kind gesture can go so far, yet similarly so can the impact of negative words. Don’t choose the latter.”
Watch the video below: