Adam_Richman_Thinspiration_Photo

The photo in question. (Adam Richman/Instagram)

Recently, Adam Richman — best known for his gluttonous competitive eating TV show “Man v. Food” — came under fire when he got in a feud with a girl about using the hashtag “#thinspriation” in an Instagram picture of his recent weight loss.

 

The now-deleted photo to Instagram had a caption reading:

“Had ordered this suit from a Saville Row tailor over a year ago. Think I’m gonna need to take it in a little…. #Victory #EyesOnThePrize #AnythingIsPossible #fitness #transformation #thinspiration”

 

Shortly after the picture was uploaded, a girl made a comment that read,

“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.”

 

While the comment might have been intended to be simply educating Richman about what the hashtag really connotes, Richman took it another way.

 

Adam RIchman’s Comments

They soon got into an Instagram exchange that was filled with hateful words and insults. Near the end of the feud, Richman replied to some hate by commenting, “Seriously – grab a razor blade & draw a bath. I doubt anyone will miss you.”

 

This exchange lead to a public apology on Twitter from Richman that read, “Yes. I’ve responded to internet hate recently with vile words directed at those hating me. I am sorry, I should know better & will do better.” It has since been deleted.

 

Shortly after the public fiasco, the Travel Channel abruptly cancelled the upcoming new show from Adam Richman without a public explanation, leading many to believe it was a direct correlation to the feud on Instagram.

 

This entire situation brings up one important point about the new job description that all celebrities are required to follow. Because social media has made it easier than ever for followers and fans to constantly stay up to date on their favorite celebrities on a daily basis, it is now in their job description to be on display around the clock.

 

The comments that Richman posted on his Instagram account are not comments that would ever be aired on television by the Travel Channel, nor would any public relations representative ever advise him to go through with posting them. Not to mention, with the many followers that can screen shot the briefest of tweets, there is little to no room for error — particularly an error as hateful and insensitive as telling a girl to kill herself.

 

Celebrities are only human, a few of even the most well-intentioned celebrities are bound to mess up now and again, particularly when a mistake on Twitter or Instagram can happen in seconds while they are sitting on their couch in their pajamas. Can we really expect perfection from them?

 

Certainly not perfection, but there is a new and constant degree of sensitivity that is expected from celebrities that is, in this writers opinion, reasonable. In the case of Adam Richman, a direct apology of unknowingly using a hashtag with such a negative connotation could be expected, or even no reaction would have been better.

 

Celebrities now have to treat social media the same way they would handle an interview with Jimmy Fallon or how they act on their respective TV shows. Considering they are already public figures, is it really too much for them to treat social media with the same discrepancy?

 

Some fans do not think it is fair that Richman might have gotten fired for his behavior. However, getting fired for not maintaining the “company” image that your employer wants you to have — especially as a public figure — is more than enough merit. The reason it can be perceived as so much more extreme in cases of celebrities’ self-Twimmolation, is that their posts are simply monitored much more closely than us regular Joes.

 

As beautifully put by Time magazine’s James Poniewozik;

“It is not ‘thought policing’: getting fired after publicly calling someone a ‘cunt,’… is not like getting fired for questioning government policy on taxation. This is not censorship. It is a case of someone whose only job is to communicate in public doing so in such a dumb and ugly way that it is not worth it for his private employer to continue employing him.”

 

Do you think this shift is good for celebrities? Or is it too much pressure? Do you think it’s fair? Tell me your thoughts and feelings in the comments below or tweet me @kateeb790!