As the Chrissy Teigen cyberbullying scandal continues to overwhelm her career and her once beloved image, it’s easy to see that she has committed one of American celebrity’s cardinal sins: She got caught in positioning itself as one thing publicly while the opposite was true in private.
Yes, Teigen has turned out to be a “hypocrite,” after allegations of “cruel”, “sadistic” and bizarre behavior escalated over the past month, according to celebrity crisis management watchers and public relations.
Unfortunately for Teigen, her long and painful apology on Monday falls short of what these experts say is necessary for her to sufficiently deal with the scandal. They also wonder how sincere his apology was and whether he will be trusted again.
“These claims will not be easily forgotten, and the public will only be harder on her and expect better of her to move forward,” said Ronn Torossian, founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, based At New York. “There is only a limited number of times you can ask for an apology to try to right your wrongdoing. “
It also remains to be seen whether Teigen’s fierce and jubilant denial that she also intimidated fashion designer Michael Costello – a denial she released on Friday that included her legal threats and counter-claims that he falsified direct messages from him – will change the opposite. disturbing story that began to surround him.
The former Sports Illustrated model, 35, rose to fame on Twitter for being brash, salty and at times controversial, especially when she became an open opponent of President Donald Trump and his MAGA beliefs.
As the mother-of-two expanded her brand to become a cookbook author and lifestyle influencer, she tried to push forward the idea that she truly had a heart of gold. Along with her popular musician husband, John Legend, she sought to transform herself into an arbiter of moral decency and kindness, especially to people in society far below her level of wealth and status, experts say. .
But what always complicates things for Teigen is the fact that her fame has been built on being an influencer, a career that always relies on being “authentic” with her fans when she opens up to her life and her struggles.
Now that facade of “authenticity” has crumbled amid multiple allegations of bullying, which notably include revelations that she sent Courtney Stodden direct messages in 2011, telling the then 16-year-old media personality years of committing suicide.
“The character that Teigen has built for himself in recent years values being real, and audiences have accepted that it is synonymous with truth,” Torossian said. “People know she’s aggressive, outspoken and shameless – so why would they think she’s sorry now? “
“It’s the hypocrisy to position herself as a celebrity, in a way that communicates compassion and enlightenment on social issues, but behind the scenes she acts in an abominable way,” Eric added. Schiffer, president of the Los Angeles-based company. , Reputation management consultants.
Schiffer said the Teigen scandal is one of the “biggest collapses in American celebrity,” since Ellen DeGeneres’ disgrace last year. The talk show host, a good friend of Teigen’s, also relied on being known as “being a nice lady” when she would have been “mean” to people in private. and presided over a toxic work culture. Ratings for DeGeneres’ show plummeted in the wake of these revelations. Although DeGeneres has said the scandal was not factored into her decision, she has announced that she will end her show next year.
Teigen’s cyberbullying scandal erupted in May when an interview with Stodden in the Daily Beast resurfaced on the model’s old tweets.
Stodden, who is now 26 and identifies as non-binary, using them / them pronouns, told the Daily Beast that they were publicly humiliated by Teigen and other celebrities in 2011 and 2012 after they became a media sensation for their disturbing marriage and unconventional behavior.
Courtney Stodden’s Crucifixion – The Daily Beast https://t.co/V3FHE5QN3B
– Luke (@ luc76985) May 13, 2021
Stodden told the Daily Beast, “(Teigen) wouldn’t just publicly tweet that he wanted me to ‘take a nap’, but privately tell me to kill myself. Things like, “I can’t wait for you to die. “
Teigen also reportedly mocked struggling star Lindsay Lohan, who admitted to cutting herself off in the past, and publicly called “Teen Mom” star Farrah Abraham a “whore.”
Being “inauthentic” doesn’t resonate with influential young fans, Schiffer said. News of what he called Teigen’s “shameless” and “sadistic” behavior has predictably fueled a backlash that could cause “much more economic pain for brand managers and advertisers,” said he declared.
Teigen announced on Friday that she was pulling out of the Safely green household cleaning company she had started with her famous friend Kris Jenner three months earlier. Other retailers, including Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, had already walked away from her, and Teigen pulled out of a voiceover appearance on Mindy Kaling’s “Never Have I Ever” series.
Chrissy Teigen is “removed” from the marketing of the Safely cleaning brand she founded with Kris Jenner following sales “plunging” amid her bullying scandal. https://t.co/SneUA4VP63
– Eugène Mecke Jr (@emeckejr) June 13, 2021
On Friday, Teigen and Legend also attempted to recover some morale by alleging that the bullying allegations from Michael Costello were untrue. After Teigen apologized on Monday, Costello posted direct messages that he said came from Teigen in 2014. He said the messages, in which Teigen allegedly called him racist and said she hoped his career would fail, had led him to suicidal despair. .
But the legend tweeted: “Chrissy apologized for her public tweets, but after her apologies, Mr. Costello fabricated a DM exchange between them. This exchange was made up, completely bogus, never happened.
Teigen also jumped back on twitter to say she had no idea “what the (expletive)” Costello is doing. In a statement, she also denied sending him the messages and said she believed she and the creator had a “cordial” relationship. She further claimed that she had “apologized clearly and with regret” for her past “insensitive” behavior.
Teigen fans accused Costello of “chasing the weight” and worse, and praised the model for standing up for herself. But others have pointed out that she always behaves abominably towards others, and a representative for Costello told People that her attempts to discredit him show “that she remains a bully.”
Torossian, Schiffer and others also disagreed with her and Legend’s apparent claims that her apology had been enough. They point out that Stodden and Abraham claimed they had not heard from him, one of the reasons Schiffer said his apology appears “like a hollow and fabricated attempt to save his brand.”
On The Dish, The Ringer’s pop culture podcast, hosts Amanda Dobbins and Juliet Littman said they were embarrassed by the humor Teigen tried to inject humor into his apology. The humor made it seem like she thought it would be easy for her to move on and resume her life as a beloved social media star.
Dobbins and Littman were also put off by the way Teigen seemed to think she was taking full responsibility for her bad behavior by calling herself a “troll.” Complete stop. ”Teigen admitted she was immature when she tweeted sarcastic things to other celebrities as a way to get famous early in her career. But for Dobbins and Littman, the word ‘troll’ doesn’t translate not the seriousness of his offenses.
“She wasn’t just a troll, tweeting a headline to get attention or tweeting someone pithy to spark controversy,” Litman said. “She was making DMs to people in private, telling them to die. It is not trolling. It’s cruel. It’s super weird.
They also said Teigen’s efforts to portray herself as “a moral arbiter of the left” – what others would call a crusader to “nullify culture” – made her particularly vulnerable “when her morals and ethics were insufficient. “. Indeed, those who seem to rejoice most over Teigen’s downfall are right-wing figures, including Donald Trump Jr. and Candace Owens.
But Teigen’s actions also made it difficult to defend some of his left-wing supporters. Torossian said: “You can’t be so outspoken against others, but be surprised or offended when they fight against you. The pendulum swings in both directions.
If Teigen was her client, Schiffer said he would tell her to stay off social media for a while, step out of the limelight, and have real conversations “on a human level” with the people she is. hurt.
“She also needs to look at her own behavior, at the fundamental level of what motivated her,” Schiffer said. “With time and energy and focusing on the job of making amends for the people she’s hurt, she might be able to get over this, but she needs to stop worrying about the media (be careful) . “