Here’s a perfect lesson on why it’s a terrible idea to be an assh*le on the internet. Aside from the notion that’s it’s just a better idea all around to treat others as you’d like to be treated yourself, there’s also Karma. And Karma can be a bitch.
Take the case of Dancing with the Stars pro, Val Chmerkovskiy, who thought it would be a great idea to post a meme to his Facebook page picturing an overweight child drinking a soda with the caption, “Letting your kid become obese should be considered child abuse.” It turns out the girl has Down syndrome. The now 16 year old and her family are SUING the dance pro.
According to TMZ, the girl claims the dancer caused her severe emotional distress by posting a photo that mocked her. She claims in 2008 she was at a baseball game and someone took the picture of her drinking a soda. The creeper posted the pic with the headline, “Everything that’s wrong with America.”
The photo became a meme in 2014, and Val posted it 3 weeks ago with the new caption. CBS news also posted the photo and the meme went viral. The girl says her mom sent several emails to Val asking him to take down the photo, and he responded with a post that read in part, “I am truly sorry for the lack of sensitivity. You’re handicapping your kid, and they’re defenseless.” He further criticized the girl’s mom saying, “They don’t know better. That’s why you’re there.”
The lawsuit states the girl’s Down syndrome and related issues is why she’s overweight and alleges defamation, emotional distress and invasion of privacy. The girl wants $6 million from Val and $600k from the photographer. She also wants $6 million from CBS.
This may look like a money grab, and could be, but I’m having a hard time feeling sorry for Val. Mean memes, particularly when they are based on creeper photos, can destroy the reputation or humiliate the person involved. A celebrity in his position should know better. I can’t believe his publicity people didn’t step in immediately. He could have possibly avoided the lawsuit if he had been kinder to the girl’s mother, who likely is doing the best she can raising a child with disabilities. Just take the photo down dude, without behaving like an asshat.
If you want to see the meme, TMZ has it posted on their page.