Beliefnet
Idol Chatter

In the age of user-generated videos distributed to your computer via youtube.com, stupidvideos.com, and ifilm.com, employers might want to consider adding “forgiveness” to their list of hiring pre-requisites. Melanie Martinez is the perfect example of what the future will look like if they don’t.

Martinez, the former host of the PBS Sprouts network’s “Good Night” program, was let go after she let executives know about one of two shorts she starred in entitled “Technical Virgin.” The film is 30 seconds long and features Martinez comically explaining the things that a girl can do to technically remain a virgin. (She remains fully clothed throughout–the video is more sophomoric than risque, and actually kind of funny.)

By no means am I condoning the message conveyed in the film, but I am a firm believer in forgiveness. Martinez made the film seven years before PBS even knew she existed. I assume that her motive for making it was pure entertainment of the Saturday Night Live variety. This 30-second clip shouldn’t be used to judge the content of her character.

It would be one thing if she was moonlighting as a pamphlet distributor on the streets of New York encouraging teenage girls to fornicate, but she isn’t. It takes seven years for debts to be cleared on credit reports, so why not let seven be the magic number of years for forgiveness? Why not forgive her for her trespasses?

We live in the age of user-generated content that can be created as easily as we receive it. We also live in a country where we are supposed to be protected by the first amendment’s promise of freedom of speech. Are you telling me that the millions of people putting content on the web (some less appropriate than others) can one day expect to get a pink slip from their job because of a “for entertainment purposes only” video. I am not sure whether to abide or revolt. It’s comparable to the ridiculousness of using someone’s MySpace page as a character reference for a job application.

Verily, verily I say unto you, this revolution will be televised!

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