Al Roker got himself in hot water with victims of Hurricane Joaquin in South Carolina yesterday. South Carolina residents and others took issue with the selfie Al Roker posted to his Twitter feed showing a washed-out road with a car caught in a sinkhole in the background with Roker and his two camera people standing smiling in the foreground.
At least seven people have died as a result of the hurricane on the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, according to the Chicago Tribune, and a cargo ship, the El Faro, is believed to have sunk. Search efforts continue for survivors, as many as 28 are feared drowned, reports NBC.
Roker has now deleted the tweet and posted two apology tweets. Thankfully, Roker was able to report that the woman who owned the car in the background got out safely and recognized that he and his crew were being insensitive. To be fair, the smile Al Roker is wearing in the photo that got him in trouble looks somewhat forced, as does the expression of the man in the yellow rain jacket, which borders on a look of concern. The woman standing between Al Roker and the other man looks altogether jubilant, however. There is no word on apologies from her or the other Al Roker crew member.
Absolutely correct. I apologize for being insensitive. The woman in that car got out without injury. We Should not have been in the picture— Al Roker (@alroker) October 5, 2015
We came down to report and I offended those who lost so much. I am sorry— Al Roker (@alroker) October 5, 2015
This isn’t the first time that Al Roker has gotten himself in trouble with Twitter. Back in February 2014, Roker sent out a tweet misspelling the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio’s name and predicted that he would only have one term as mayor because he didn’t agree with the mayor’s decision on closing the city’s schools.
“I will say, the one tweet I do regret in the heat — I’m very passionate about the weather,” Al Roker was quoted as stating on Today, by USA Today. “I made a prediction that there would be only one term of his administration. I apologize for that. That was … a little below the line.”
Overall, Al Roker is a popular television personality and his Twitter account has 417,000 followers. He has also authored an autobiographical book on parenthood, titled, Don’t Make Me Stop This Car, which the editorial review describes as talking “frankly about fertility problems, parenting, divorce, adoption… and ‘toons.” He has also co-authored a series of mysteries with Dick Lochte.
Al Roker isn’t the first person to post insensitive selfies to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Here’s a look a some of the worst selfies thoughtless people have posted over the years.
The “my teacher’s going into labor selfie.”
Selfie with my teacher while she having contractions
The “smiling Auschwitz selfie.”
The “2015 East Village gas explosion selfie”. Two people were killed and many more were injured, reports the New York Times. This selfie made the cover of the New York Post.
The “funeral selfie.”
The “little kid is drowning behind me selfie.”
While Al Roker’s selfie was inconsiderate, to be sure, at least there wasn’t people actually in distress in the frame of the photo. Over the years, Roker is reported to have worked with a long list of charities, including the AmberWatch Foundation, the American Foundation for AIDS Research, Champions for Children, City Harvest, the Flawless Foundation, Friends of Scotland, New York Restoration Project, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Soles4Souls, and the Wounded Warrior Project, as reported by Look To The Stars.
In 2007, a logo that was proposed for the 2012 Olympics in London, England was reported to be causing some afflicted with epilepsy to have seizures. Today held a poll where 80 percent of viewers found the logo to be inappropriate.
“Well, we asked you to weigh in on our Web site in an informal poll; those of you who could get up off the floor after shaking around were able to actually log in…” Roker was quoted at the time by the New York Post. Some people must have taken offense with this, because the next day, Roker apologized.
“I started joking about it,” Roker was reported to state, “I want to make this clear – I was not joking about epilepsy or anyone who suffers from epilepsy.We understand and know that this is a serious affliction and would never joke about that. We were joking about the logo – not about epilepsy. If anybody was offended, I heartily and really humbly apologize.”