Recently Oath, a media company owned by Verizon, canceled Instagram star Girl With No Job’s talk show because of the resurfacing of racist tweets from her and her sister. The host, Claudia Oshry, rose to fame on Instagram, and since April she and her sister hosted the show “The Morning Breath” that was streamed on social media networks.
Their mother is known for being anti-Muslim, and her opinions were reflected in her daughters a few years ago when both tweeted offensive statements about people who practice Islam. The girls have since apologized for their tweets, but they are still feeling the negative effects from them. Below is Oshry’s public apology on Instagram.
From a public relations standpoint, I think it was smart for Oath to cancel the show. There is zero tolerance for discrimination nowadays, even though this issue revolves around something that was done in the past. Oath knows the girls’ mother holds controversial opinions. They also know that the girls have made controversial statements themselves. Let’s face it– no company, no matter how big or small, wants to be associated with controversy. It drives consumers away and it doesn’t make any company look good.
According to the Public Relations Society of America’s Code of Ethics, practitioners must “serve the public interest by acting as responsible advocates for those we represent.” In this case, being linked with people who have made anti-Muslim statements in the past is not serving the public interest. Oath recognized that if they were to continue Oshry’s show, their mother or their past statements could be linked to the media company, and that is not a socially responsible thing to do. Serving the public interest means serving the entire public, not just one group of people. Muslim viewers could feel uncomfortable watching this show if they knew the hosts’ backgrounds. By canceling the show, Oath is showing that they value every one of their consumers, and that they put the public’s interest first on their list of priorities.
If executives at Oath knew of the Oshrys’ backgrounds going into the relationship, the show would have likely never even started. But the pair of Instagram famous sisters went great lengths to hide who their mother is, explained in the Daily Beast article that exposed who they are.
Canceling a show because its stars are linked to controversy is not an easy thing to do, but it has been a common trend recently. Celebrities are feeling the consequences of their past actions and behaviors. Whether sexual misconduct or, in this case, racist remarks, stars are learning now that anything said or done in their past can have ramifications on their future.
From one perspective, this isn’t fair. People change, especially their opinions. No one is the same person they were five or ten years ago. So bringing up something offensive that was said during that time doesn’t reflect who they are today.
From another perspective, this is completely fair. People should take responsibility for their words and actions, even if they were said or done a long time ago. No one should get away without some sort of repercussion.
Oath has obviously taken the second perspective, and I don’t blame them. Detaching their company from these girls shows that they do not put up with any kind of discrimination. It’s a bold move, but I think it will pay off in the next few years.
I don’t think Girl With No Job is going to be unemployed for the rest of her life because of this situation. She is clearly very sorry for the things she has said, and I think her followers understand where she’s coming from. Moving forward, I think any celebrity should know that the best way to deal with a scandal is to admit guilt and apologize. For the companies that employ them, their best way just might be to fire them.