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Doing Life Together

Alec Baldwin embodies the entitlement mentality we see so prominently displayed among celebrities and others these days. His latest incident of being escorted off an American Airline flight for refusing to turn off his cell phone when asked, is another example of celebrity bad behavior that gets a media pass.

His apology, posted on the Huffington Post, was less an apology and more a justification for his bad behavior.

The apology was titled, A Farewell to Common Sense, Style and Service on American Airlines. It should have been titled, A Hello to More Celebrity Entitlement.

His apology was not to the airlines—the very people who deserved it. Instead he justified his temper tantrum  (read what he did on ABC News) and explained why he didn’t deserve to be treated the way he was. Then he used his platform on Saturday Night Live to further make fun of American Airlines.

Here’s what didn’t sit well with me. He refused to turn off his cell phone when asked because other people were not following the rules either.

Are we in grade school here? In grade school, kids tried to excuse their behavior by pointing to the other kids who were acting out too.  “But Jimmy did it too.” That never worked for me. The teacher would only point to my behavior. And my parents would use the old saying, “If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you jump too?” Apparently Alex would.

Second, he used his apology to bash the airlines for their poor service and “learned” that he cannot go around the rules if the “1950s gym teacher is on duty.” The message is, act out only when you think you can get away with it. Another great lesson to teach my children “Honey, Mr. Baldwin’s mistake was to disobey when someone was actually watching him. He should have been more stealth or waited until a flight attendant treated him more special.”

As a passenger on airplanes, I see people disobeying the rules all the time—that doesn’t make it right. And I feel for the attendants who have to deal with arrogant and angry people who feel they are above the rules. And yes, I have been treated poorly at times by flight attendants. But I didn’t get up, go to the bathroom, slam the door and refuse to comply and delay everyone on the plane. His response was childish and irresponsible. And my neighbor, a pilot, would tell you that those rules are made for the safety of ALL passengers, not as a way to control people or inconvenience them.

That is why the apology should have been about Alec’s rude behavior, not the poor service of airlines. Sorry, he needs to do more and take responsibility for being a bad boy!

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