Former model turned cookbook writer Chrissy Teigen has found herself in the limelight of public scrutiny as a barrage of hateful and sickening tweets and DMs she authored over the years, as well as unkind Instagram comments, have been showcased for the world to see. Without addressing her victims by name—and claiming she is “reaching out to them personally”—Teigen took to Medium to issue a lengthy apology. It can be summed up in her blithe pitch: “I was a troll, full stop. And I am so sorry.”
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What exactly happened with Chrissy Teigen?
While an encyclopedia could be written regarding this particular model’s online behavior (and probably should be to teach kids how not to act), it can be summarized: A hypocritical, attention seeking, deeply disturbed, model spending years harassing and bullying people without consequence, finally starts receiving her comeuppance.
Between the years of 2011-2015, shortly after Teigen made it on the scene of Hollywood in 2010, the 20-something made a social media name for herself through trolling, both people more and less famous than herself. Some of the most prominent individuals were Courtney Stodden, Farrah Abraham and Michael Costello. The most concerning of these three was Celebrity Big Brother star and model, Courtney Stodden. At the age of 16 years old, she began experiencing Chrissy’s online abuse. Stodden states that Teigen told her in private messages that “I can’t wait for you to die,” and that Stodden should “kill herself.” In now deleted tweets, Chrissy tagged Stodden with the following: “My fantasy Friday: you. dirt nap. Mmmmmm baby.” Others comment on Stodden’s physical appearance and tell her to “go to sleep forever.” One would be hard pressed to find someone outside of Hollywood who would ever survive their jobs had they been caught saying anything near this malevolent to a peer, especially a minor.
In the midst of Teigen’s apology, Chrissy was dealt a set-back and it’s a bombshell. Designer Michael Costello came forward and added fuel to the #CancelChrissyTeigen fire. He revealed messages in 2014 during his attack by Teigen that he privately pleaded with her to call him in order to clear up a misunderstanding. Michael was then suffering the onslaught of calls to cancel him for a photoshopped picture in which Michael was shown to be making racist remarks, all of which have been proven false. The prominent figure at the center of this controversy was Teigen herself, who unapologetically spread these doctored images to her substantial following.
Teigen would hear nothing of Costello’s pleas for cessation. She clapped back to Costello, saying, “Racist people like you deserve to suffer and die. You might as well be dead. Your career is over, just watch.” Costello has said that this experience with Teigen and the public backlash that came with it left him feeling suicidal. One wonders what Michael’s career would have brought him over the past half decade had he not experienced such vitriol.
‘We are all better than our worst moments’
It does appear that Chrissy is facing some proper consequences outside the realm of Twitter and her public image. As her earlier tweets came to light, Teigen has been losing sponsorships for her various endeavors. Target, VRBO, Macy’s and Bloomingdales almost overnight removed Teigen’s products and canceled their partnerships. Teigen’s husband, John Legend, seems to be backing up his wife with his show of support yesterday. He retweeted Teigen’s apology with “We are all better than our worst moments.” This retweet comes amid swirling rumors of their impending marital dissolution which have been making their way through Hollywood gossip outlets for weeks.
Aiming to rehab her public image and loss of income, Chrissy appears to believe that a public apology is sufficient for inaccurately labeling people racist, threatening to end their careers and most disturbingly, telling a child to kill herself. It’s as if the Hollywood starlet really believes that in a society of rampant cancel culture, she should be given a pass for what others are rightly fired for. It’s a classic double standard. This abject hypocrisy would be bad enough if not for the added assumption that all is forgiven after a few weeks of self-reflection.
As society continues to fracture, whoever wields the power of public discourse in any given situation will find themselves surviving the court of public opinion. This is in contrast to the objective morality of yesteryear that society used to agree upon. Even 15 years ago, the American people would have never suffered the bile Chrissy Teigen has unleashed onto the world. She would have been rightly cast out to the pit of Hollywood’s has-beens faster than the Roseanne Barr cancelation of 2018. Up until now Teigen has been insulated from such attempts at cancelation. This is certainly aided by her progressive political affiliations, where she’s rubbed shoulders with prominent politicians such as former President Barack Obama. She also has made herself cozy within the realm of reporters. In this case, fickle public discourse is not on her side and it seems doubtful that she will ever again reach the prominence she once held.
The real hope lies in Hollywood’s silence on the matter. Other than Teigen’s husband, not one of Chrissy Teigen’s fellow stars has come out in support of the beleaguered Hollywood socialite on Twitter. On Instagram, the few that have include Kyle Richards, Selma Blair and Jennifer Garner. Note that these actresses merely commented to Teigen’s post with a heart emoji, which hardly proves that they approve of what Teigen said in the past. The only actress who has voiced genuine support of Chrissy is Zoe Saldana. She commented on Chrissy’s Instagram “The trolling that you are receiving is also uncalled for. I see you and respect you.” My request for comment directly to Zaldona was ignored.
After spending a considerable amount of time sifting through Chrissy’s likes and support of those blue-checked individuals who follow her on Twitter, not even one of them could be found to have liked her apology tweet yet. Ouch.
Either most realize Teigen is herself as toxic as her tweets. Or perhaps Hollywood does retain some standards regarding common decency. For now, the world can take a deep breath as it endeavors to journey through #SurvivingChrissyTeigen.