Ethics Dunce: Fashion Model Melissa Stetten


We have covered this territory before: the unethical conduct of the cruel and arrogant conversant or correspondent who publicizes private communication over the internet in order to embarrass someone whose only offense was social awkwardness or a moment of bad judgment, and whose biggest mistake was trusting a heartless jerk.  It is the Golden Rule breach of breaches, and is social misconduct that shows a serious deficit in kindness, fairness and decency.

Model Melissa Stetten, however, takes the cake, except that models aren’t allowed to have cake. Flying in First Class  from New York to Los Angeles, Stetten found herself next to actor Brian Presley, who was apparently rendered weak-kneed and stupid in the proximity of such beauty, plus he was a little drunk. His flirtatious chit-chat was both awkward and  pompous, so Stetten, who, like most models, undoubtedly has the conversational skills of Dorothy Parker, decided to  live-tweet their conversation to her 30,000 followers.

Brian Presley, naturally, was humilated. His wife was probably furious with him. His fans now know him as a dork who trots out the lamest pick-up lines ever devised. He also, apparently, was in the midst of an alcoholic relapse, so naturally Stetten mocked him for that too in her tweets. (Her entire performance is available on the web; I’m not going to circulate it. Unlike the New York Timse, jI don’t believe that just because I have access to information  I should magnify the harm it can do by helping to circulate it.) Continue reading