Update 12/2/2013: It appears that Elan Gale made up the entire airplane spat. He got a lot of us good! Here’s the thing – I still stand by *everything* I’ve stated. There are a lot of “Dianes” out there and letting them get away with being selfish and rude isn’t the answer. Call them out. No, there is no “free pass” if one is ill. Being sick is not a ticket to being an asshole. That all being said, well played Mr. Gale. Well played!
Storify (removed embed for brevity):
The holidays tend to bring out the worst in many people. Black Friday frenzy-fests are proof of some of the madness that takes hold of people. Waiting in long lines, dealing with traffic, and flight delays can test even the calmest human. But most of us take this stuff in stride and realize that this is what we simply must deal with during this season. Then there are those few who are insulted when things don’t go their way. Instead of dealing with it internally, these sorts decide to make their dissatisfaction known to all around them. Often the people hit hardest by this crap are those in service jobs trying their best to accommodate people in not-so-great conditions. Case in point: Elan, Diane, and the flight. Here is what was tweeted out by one Elan Gale – producer of ABC’s The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Bachelor Pad (link instead of embed for brevity):
On Friday, a supposed “cousin” of Diane’s commented on another Storified account of the battle of notes:
Diane is my cousin. I want to thank you for not pressing charges against her for slapping you. She would have been arrested for that, and spending a few days in jail would have been a particularly cruel irony under the circumstances. I am a bit surprised you said you could hear her breathing, because Diane has stage IV small cell lung cancer. This would have been her last Thanksgiving with us. I say “would have” because she did miss her connecting flight. She arrived this morning, having spent the night in a hotel in Phoenix. Admittedly, Diane hasn’t been handling her imminent death very well, but she really was looking forward to being with us and the rest of her family- all of whom were flying in for one last Thanksgiving with her. In her defense, she was very contrite and upset about her behavior on the plane. Certainly everybody wanted to get where they were going, but perhaps she can be forgiven for thinking that her need was more pressing than most. Thanksgiving has always been Diane’s favorite holiday, and her comment about the stuffing is true- she was the “keeper of the family recipe” and all of her nieces were planning to be instructed (one more time) in the mysterious ways of Auntie Diane’s stuffing. Since she missed her connecting flight, this did not occur. We are going to try to get as many of the family together as we can tomorrow, but that is up in the air. The plans were all for yesterday. I wish you had known her before she got cancer. You would have loved her. She was bright, funny, and compassionate, and had a self-deprecating sense of humor. She taught elementary music. She loved kids. She loved to laugh. She was everybody’s favorite aunt. Actually, she still is.
We don’t know if this person really is a cousin. We’re only to take their word. But that isn’t my issue with this post. My issue is that because a person is ill (terminally or otherwise) they suddenly have a golden ticket allowing them to be an asshole whenever they please. It has been my experience that if a person is an asshole in sickness, they were an asshole in health.
Elan later posted on Tumblr his thoughts on Diane and the whole fun mess. Here is the best take-away:
I don’t care what’s going on with you: Don’t be rude to people who are doing their job.
What do others take away?
That has tipped way over into bullying, and sexist bullying at that.
It’s sexist due to the “eat my dick” comment. Elan didn’t trot on over to the woman, unzip his fly, and dangle his wedding tackle in Diane’s face. But some commenting on the above blog not only believe it, they take it a step further:
It’s amazing: here we have a story in which a man self-reports sexually harassing a woman, and nobody remarks on the sexual harassment and never ever questions his story
Yep. Sexually harassed. By writing “eat my dick”. I’ve decided to “sexually harass” thousands by inviting them to eat my ovaries. Or perhaps a simple “kiss my ass” will suffice.
Well, when all was said and done, Diane-the-center-of-the-universe ended up missing her connecting flight. Just desserts.