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Man Vs. Food Vs. The Court of Public Opinion
By: Shawn Paul Wood
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You may have watched a few episodes of the Travel Channel's "Man Vs. Food." Adam Richman was the portly, lovable host. And although the show didn't last, the holes in our hearts caused by its departure (and those dastardly ghost peppers) have. Whelp, before Richman tries to continue his career and shows off his new svelte figure with "Man Finds Food" (airing nationally July 2 and set firmly in this reporter's DVR), something may thwart the goodwill and TV fun time. 

According to Mediaite, Adam Richman took to Instagram and thought he would spread the word about his new show and the love about his sweet demeanor. At least that is what many people used to think. In fact, he unleashed a NSFW tirade because a #thinspiration moniker called a few critics "runts" (except with a capital "C") and suggested "they kill themselves." What set him off? Meet "Amber," a self-proclaimed adipose activist who is on a cause to battle size discrimination

Amber took slight umbrage with Adam Richman's braggadocio when purchasing a new suit — not because of his weight loss, but rather his choice of words and hashtags. And now, he has to worry about more of those salty choices. Upon seeing the now-deleted post, Amber attacks: 

Thinspiration? Oh really? Now for those of you not hip to the lingo, thinspiration is very popular in pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia circles, generally consisting of pictures of emaciated bodies, mantras like ‘what’s more important, that slice of pizza or a thigh gap?’ and suggestions, tips, and motivation to either starve or purge.

Of course, as it is with the Internet, trolls never ride alone. And so many of Amber's friends joined the attack. Adam Richman forgot this is the Internet and to be mindful of PR points, responds with "DILLIGAF." (Look it up, kids.) And so, PR was hurled out of the window and it was on like Donkey Kong. (And since this is a family show, we have chosen to remove the fun lingo.) 

@VociferousTart: I may be a dummy but at least I've learned the slurs are never excused. And again, I started off politely attempting to educate you. Next time you eff up, (and you will since you clearly have no responsibility for your own words of actions) maybe realize that you aren't being "trolled" but that you upset actual human beings. 

@AdamRichman: Maybe you should check my subsequent post you fool. And maybe you'll acknowledge that just because someone is on TV, they are no less worthy of human kindness, respect, forgiveness, or patience. So go on, be vindictive, email my responses. Because that's what good people do right? Give me an effing break. If anyone acts like a c*nt I'll call them one. It's not misogyny, it's calling a spade a spade. Maybe you're the one begin aggressive and unfair — and yes, if my use of the hashtag offended you, it was unintentional and I'm sorry. 

There's more but this isn't TMZ.

Here's the PR question: Does Adam Richman have a right to fight trolls? Anyone can get on social media, call names, point fingers, and make memes. The beautiful people tend to have less opportunity to do that because of the aforementioned nameless gnomes out there (yes, TMZ, that applies to your photographers, too). Everyone so easy gets "offended" these days. In fact, I wonder if the dolts who get their feelers bruised so quickly even understand what it means to be offended, truly. 

That said, it's very possible some people — say, a certain Travel Channel host — don't realize the ne'er-do-well meanings of certain words. I have to search Urban Dictionary daily to keep with up my son just to eavesdrop on his calls eh, talk to him at times. While the clan of "fat activists" continue to pelt Travel Channel with hate mail and obscene phone calls, let's stop to consider that it may be an attempt to grab 15 minutes of fame instead of championing the plight of the voiceless. 

Of course, by asking the PR question I did, my lovable editors should be preparing for the influx of angst. You know? Just in case I've offended someone. As the mantra goes in PR: "Perception is reality." Eh, not always, as we see. 

   

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About the Author
Shawn Paul Wood is a hack-turned-flack with more than 20 years of collective journalism, copywriting and marketing communications experience. Shawn Paul is founder of Woodworks Communications in Dallas, Texas. If you need him, ping him here or follow him on Twitter @ShawnPaulWood
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