The video showed McHenry insulting a woman who was towing her car on April 6. In a foul-mouthed rant, McHenry told the woman “lose some weight, baby girl” and threatened to take legal action against the towing company.
“I’m in the news, sweetheart, I will (expletive) sue this place,” McHenry said in the video.
Britt McHenry continued on, insulting the woman’s intelligence.
“Yep, that’s all you care about, is just taking people’s money,” McHenry said. “With no education, no skillset, just wanted to clarify that. … Do you feel good about your job? So I could be a college dropout and do the same thing? Why, cause I have a brain and you don’t?”
When the video was released on Thursday, it quickly went viral, racking up hundreds of thousands of views across many sites and formats. A link to the LiveLeak video also shot to the top of the link-sharing site reddit, where many called out McHenry for her angry tirade.
It didn’t take ESPN long to act. Within hours of the video circulating, the network announced that Britt McHenry would be suspended for one week.
McHenry also issued an apology for her behavior.
“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.”
There appears to be a little more to the story than the viral video indicates, however. On the day her car was actually towed, Britt McHenry went online to tweet a complaint that the towing company was acting illegally. Her tweet ended up as part of a story from ARLnow that explored the many complaints against the company in question, Advanced Towing.
“Towing has historically been a hot topic in Arlington,” the report noted. “Last year we reported that food delivery vehicles were being towed off private property by Advanced. In past years it was towing fee increases, towing disputes and crimes against tow companies that have made headlines.”
Even before Britt McHenry was suspended for her foul-mouthed rant against the parking lot employee, the ESPN reporter was in the middle of controversy. Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden called her out for a report on locker room tension related to Robert Griffin III, saying her reporting was “amateurish.”
[Image via ABC 7]