Update: According to Elan Gale, this whole thing was a hoax.
All weekend long this story has been popping up on my Facebook and Twitter feeds, with people commenting how “hilarious” the story is. I have a healthy sense of humor, but I beg to differ.
Some woman named Diane was throwing a tantrum over her flight being delayed, causing her to miss Thanksgiving with her family. She began berating the crew and annoying her fellow passengers by acting like she was the only one that mattered. At one point a crew member tried to calm her down by expressing that he, too, wished he was with his family on Thanksgiving. Her response? “This isn’t about you!” She continued her belligerent behavior onboard, pressing the call button incessantly and being rude to the crew.
Elan Gale, a producer from the show “The Bachelor” (awful show by the way – should have been canceled a decade ago) watched this scene unfold and decided to do what reality tv producers do – stir the pot and turn it into a full on drama. First, he sends the woman a glass of wine with a snarky note. She writes back, calling him an “awful person” with “no compassion.” Elan proclaims “war” and vows to “retaliate.” How dare this woman respond to an aggressive move like that? Sure, she seems awful but he aggravated the situation and is now harassing her with antagonizing notes.
Elan writes her another note, this time telling her “I hate you very much” and ends the note with a very ungentlemanly, not to mention profane and inappropriate suggestion.
Diane points out the impropriety and vows to notify the authorities upon landing.
Elan reiterates his previous obscenity with greater fervor. When they land, Elan waits for Diane at the gate with another note and she slaps him. A gate agent holds her back, offers to call the police, but Elan has just one last move: He hands her the note and walks off. The note contains his Twitter handle and the following parting words:
“Look me up online. Read every tweet. Read every response. And maybe next time you’ll be nice to people who are just trying to help.”
Who was in the wrong and is this story funny? First off, I don’t think a man sending a woman obscenity-laden notes is acceptable under any circumstance. It doesn’t matter that she’s being obnoxious and rude to the crew. It is not the passengers’ job to discipline other passengers. When someone is upset, you do not throw gasoline on the fire.
I can understand the woman’s anger at missing Thanksgiving with her family and perhaps it had been a difficult day for her, but I agree that her behavior was out of line. Still, the way to subdue someone that upset isn’t to antagonize them and start a “war.” That will end in a physical altercation, as Elan learned the hard way.
Elan ended the whole episode by tweeting a photo for Diane of his mother flipping her the bird. Classy. Yes, Diane seems to have acted atrociously, but so did he by antagonizing her. There was absolutely no need for it. So excuse me if I don’t find it funny when a person is upset to be missing a holiday with their family, or when a grown man behaves like an adolescent and starts harassing a stranger with bizarre, profane, and sexually explicit notes. It’s not funny, it’s sad and embarrassing for both of them. What’s more, it’s a sad day when people find humor in other people’s misery.
What are your thoughts? Are you amused by this story or the producer’s actions?