Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Farrah Battles the Bullies with Legislation

Well, like many Americans on Friday night, I sat down and watched the NBC special about 70’s icon Farrah Fawcett and her battle with cancer. It was a 2 hour long documentary that included watching Farrah go through some of the hardest times in her battle with anal cancer. Plus, the support of Alana Stewart and her long time partner Ryan O’Neal. I remember Farrah well from my 70’s childhood as I thought she, Jaclyn Smith and Kate Jackson were three of the “baddest” women on TV as I was a huge Charlie’s Angels fan like every other little girl of that time. Also, I remember the poster in the red bathing suit that everyone had in their homes back in the day. As she moved on from Charlie’s Angels, she met Ryan O’Neal and they were together for a long time. They even share a child Redmond who is in his mid 20’s by now. So, I decided to watch the documentary as I also knew her rights to privacy were violated during her battle with cancer. However, I was not aware as to how far this went.

As I watched this documentary, I saw where the paparazzi was everywhere and would not leave her alone. They were reporting falsehoods in the Enquirer and other tabloid fodder that has nothing better to do than fabricate things. We saw a video of Farrah and I think it was Alana where they were leaving the hospital. Farrah was in a wheelchair holding one of those standard hospital buckets up to her as she was getting sick from the chemo. She had to cover her head when they left because the paparazzi was waiting for her to leave. Not only did they snap those photos but got right in her face, yes, her face with those cameras. I was enraged when I saw that happening. You could hear Farrah say “they always like to get me while in a wheelchair”. So, this was not a one time deal but was happening a lot! We see them at LAX and other places while she was trying to deal with this raging illness and they would not leave her alone. Then, we learn there was a leak at UCLA who violated the Privacy Act and all ethics went out the window. I was floored by this. The paparazzi are one thing but a Doctor at UCLA? When does this ever stop? Since when is it okay to harass and stalk someone when they are battling an illness such as this? Where is the compassion? The empathy for fellow man? I jumped online quickly, found a site called Farrahs Law and signed the petition they have to try and stop this. Not only is Farrah battling cancer but is trying to get legislation going to stop this type of treatment and violation of rights.

Folks, this is just one more form of bullying and Peer Abuse. I know some will disagree but it needs to be said. She was and is in a vulnerable position and these paparazzi jumped on it as a way to benefit themselves. They stalked, harassed and eventually found someone to help them break privacy laws. Bullies stalk and harass and these paparazzi are no different. Also, this was done secretly at UCLA and behind her back which is how bullies operate. I do not know what this Doctor thought he would gain by doing what he did but he should never be allowed to practice medicine again if you ask me. Lets not forget that lies were formed and put out there for everyone else to read. I saw where some of these tabloids and other paparazzi knew about Farrah’s cancer returning before her family and friends knew! They took what they had and printed it before she had a chance to tell them! Where is the empathy? Compassion? How do these people even sleep at night?

Please, if you have a chance, visit the Farrahs Law site and see how you can help. These paparazzi are nothing more than bullies and their lack of conscience is coming through loud and clear. This is very common with bullies. Despite what Ryan O’Neal has done in the past, you have to commend him for standing by Farrah through this and the same with Alana Stewart. Farrah is lucky to have a support system in them. This is illness is horrible and anyone dealing with it deserves compassion and not stress. As for the paparazzi, please stop abusing Farrah. What has she ever done to you?

Resource Cited: http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7015178654

Elizabeth Bennett is the author of Peer Abuse Know More! Bullying From a Psychological Perspective and lives in Los Angeles, California.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Bully on the Apprentice

Last night I sat down in front of my tube and watched three long and grueling hours of the Celebrity Apprentice. I have always watched this show to see the dynamics and if any abuse of ones peers occurs. Of course, every season there is someone who just cannot help themselves. After a few episodes, one or two bullies manage to unravel and show themselves for who they are. The second season of the Celebrity Apprentice is no different. As Donald Trump has had this show on the air since 2004, I have found the concept of having celebrities come on there appealing. They are giving back through their charities that they support and much money is raised for the greater good. You cannot go wrong there. The Donald does have a heart and I commend him for using this format for his show instead of looking to hire people for his organization as was done in the past.

This season there were a variety of celebrities from Andrew Dice Clay, Clint Black, Jesse James and others. After weeks of completing grueling tasks, the final two standing were Poker Player/Champion Annie Duke and Comedian/Designer/Producer/Fashion Police Joan Rivers. Both ladies are intelligent, sharp and did well. However, what stood out to me was the behavior of both of these ladies. They despised one another and had a season long feud. Annie felt attacked by Joan where as Joan saw right through Annie and her behavior and called a spade a spade. The bottom line came down to the good vs. evil. At the end, The Donald picked Joan Rivers and in my opinion, did the right thing.

Joan Rivers is one tough lady. At her age, she showed extreme strength throughout the show. Sure, she is outspoken, brash, very assertive and never held back on what she really thought. True, she had her moments with Clint Black and other team members. However, was always able to move on and focus on the task at hand. She made it clear that she was there for her charity and to do something good for someone else. You knew where she stood. She also saw right through Annie Duke. I watched Annie on the show and watched her behavior. She called people on her cell phone and yelled at them and used many words that were “beeped” out. She always wanted to be around people she felt she could control. I saw the task between herself, Melissa Rivers and Brandi when Melissa felt like the odd girl out. I knew exactly what those two were doing to Melissa and Melissa’s feelings were very normal considering the situation she was in. Annie was condescending towards her peers which was troublesome. I watched her last night and saw how she talked to Tom and Dennis. I watched her call every contact she had and talked about Joan and how she did this and that with the designers. Every chance she had she attacked Joan and her character behind Joan’s back. Her goal was to “bring this woman down.” Even though Joan held contempt towards Annie and let her know it, she kept it out of the task at hand. She did not go on the phone and trash Annie to others, she kept it in the board room. So, who is the real bully here? The brash lady who had a purpose and held onto it or the poker player who “played” her way through the show?

Joan is not perfect by any stretch. However, I give her props for being perceptive and saw right through Annies behavior. I saw the same stuff as a viewer. However, Joan was not condescending to her peers. She had disagreements and they were usually resolved by the next episode. True, she should not have called Annie “white trash”, a “Nazi” and trash half of Vegas for their profession. That was a little harsh. However, she was not manipulative, did not play “odd girl out” games, focused on the purpose, did not bad mouth Annie to others away from the situation. Annie continuously brought these things up in the board room and during tasks. I watched Annie’s behavior and I found it to be very troubling. Also, very common in our workplace today. I have worked for people like Annie before and was not fun whatsoever. Annie is a workplace bully in my opinion and was glad to see Joan win. You look at the two ladies and really, at the end of the day, who was the real bully? Even though Joan used harsh words, she did not do so repeatedly. Annie did not know when to quit! She always knew who to tell these things to and where to tell them.

A person can be harsh, brash and outspoken. However, that does not make them a bully. Joan saw right through Annie’s manipulations and games and called Annie on them every time. Annie’s behavior was casebook Peer Abuse. I was happy that Trump did the right thing and picked Joan. Joan may not be perfect but she sure knew how to bring down a bully. Nobody can go wrong there.

Resource Cited: http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/b123155_celebrity_apprentice_joan_rivers_trumps.html