How Much is Too Much When it Comes to Public Figures and Shaming Others?
Again, the indie publishing community is hit with more drama. It’s not the first time this individual has shamed someone. It’s also not the first time hundreds of people have come to his defense all because he posted an “apology.” First, apologies have meaning. Apologies mean, “You know what? I was wrong and I apologize. I will do my best to not do it again.” One usually thinks twice (maybe more than twice) when lashing out and committing the same poor-taste act as they had before.
Not BT Urruela.
Let me give you a little bit of background on BT Urruela. Rare.us did an article on him and started out with “Personal Trainer. Motivational Speaker. Author. Model. Those are a few words that describe the man born Brian Taylor Urruela. But, there’s so much more to this Purple Heart recipient.” (http://rare.us/rare-under-40-awards/bt-urruela/) These things are all commendable, yes? So tell me why this man doesn’t live up to the expectations set forth with the opening line of this article?
Taking a look at his author bio (https://www.amazon.com/BT-Urruela/e/B0192O9DRK/), I see a lot of the same praise being sung for this man.
“BT Urruela is a combat wounded amputee, purple heart recipient, contemporary author who has written both independent and traditionally published books. He is a RARE under 40 award recipient, Rockwood Summit High School and Rockwood School District Hall of Fame inductee, Co-founder and Brand Ambassador for VETSports, Ambassador for Tampa Sports Academy, People Magazine Tribute for Heroes winner, Cover Model, Motivational Speaker and Philanthropist.”
Yet again, I ask you, “Does everything he’s done in the past override his behavior toward others in the present?”
BT has done some awesome work in the past, but why does that give him a free pass to shame and bully others? Michael Stokes helped put this man on the map with his modeling. I’m not knocking Michael’s work one bit. In fact, I think his work is beautiful and artfully executed. He works with a LOT of combat veterans and I applaud him. Golden Czermak also does a lot of work with BT and other models. Tell me, gentlemen, when are you going to have a sit-down with BT and let him know his actions not only affect his image but your own as well? Three million likes (combined between Golden and Michael) mean nothing when all it takes is one person to tear it down. A pretty face (and body) can become ugly rather quickly when someone acts the way BT has lately.
Just several months ago, BT was shaming an author at an event because she “wasn’t being nice to him” when in all reality—like most introverts—she has social anxiety. Then, when people defended her, he said she should have stayed home if that were the case. What happened when he responded like this? Everyone with a hard-on for the man comes running to his “rescue” and the shaming became bullying.
Fast forward a few months and here we are again …
BT posted a status update on Facebook body-shaming a man in the gym. Now, I wouldn’t have thought much about the photo as I scrolled through my timeline because all I really see is BT’s face in the foreground and I tell myself, “Scroll on and don’t acknowledge it.”
But then the screen shot shows up in one of my groups and I’m thinking, Hmmm, 141 comments? This must be good stuff! Reading what he actually put in his status made me sick. Like, I literally wanted to throw up. Next thing I know I’m on the phone with my girls saying, “WTF is this? Who does he think he is?” Let’s go through ALL the wrong in this status update:
- The look on BT’s face is one of pure judgment. With the side-eye look at the man behind him, it’s like BT’s attempting to be subtle with his photography skills.
- He’s photographing a man in the background WITHOUT his consent and making him the topic of this post. I’m not sure if this is illegal in his state, but the fact the post is ABOUT this unsuspecting man makes me cringe.
- “Bro… you are wayyy too big to be stuffing them tree trunks into leggings. How do you even do leg day when you can’t feel your feet? That can’t be healthy!
Let’s stop right here. I’m going to direct this to BT:
A & B are bad enough, but C? How dare you pass judgment on this man, BT? You don’t know him and you don’t know his situation. I’ve heard he’s a heavy lifter. Awesome for him. Heavy lifters are big guys; they kind of have to be.
That being said, what if this weren’t the case and this was his first day at the gym? What if he has a health condition which makes it difficult to lose weight and he’s only doing what the doctor said and going to the gym to try and make himself healthier? What if the man really doesn’t have a lot of money to purchase clothes YOU deem acceptable for his size and he budgeted his money for a gym membership, prioritizing it over a new wardrobe?
YOU DON’T KNOW HIM! WHY DO YOU THINK YOU CAN JUDGE? Telling him he is too big to be doing anything is NOT YOUR PLACE.
To be honest, I would rather be in his company than yours any day. Hell, I might track him down and take him out for dinner and drinks. My best friend even said she would cuddle the guy in the background before she would even take a second look at your hypocritical self. Surely, he’s a hell of a lot nicer than you are. I mean, at this point, a lot of people are.
Quote from an author friend, who has requested to remain anonymous, “Really, BT, a lot of us just wish you would go away. You and your band of minions are the constant drama llamas and shit starters in the indie community. We don’t think you are greater than sliced bread, we really don’t ever want to have to think of you and your brand of douchebaggery again. This is supposed to be an adult endeavor, not an industry filled with a bunch of boys pretending to be men having keggers in the Frat House.”
Now, let’s move on to how BT worded more of this post. He calls himself an author, yet he uses “stuffing them tree trunks” in a sentence? The grammar in this statement is atrocious. I’ve read his work; it’s sub-par at best. (See images/excerpts from Into the Nothing)
See all those red lines? Those are just a FEW of the issues I find on these pages. I don’t have the time to dedicate editing entire pages of something I never want to read again. Run-on sentences, poor punctuation, passive voice, etc. Definitely not worth my time.
Before judging and typing up snarky, hateful status updates, take care of YOU first, BT.
Moving on to the next statement:
“How do you even do leg day when you can’t feel your feet? That can’t be healthy!”
How do YOU know he can’t feel his feet? He’s obviously ambulatory … don’t you pretty much have to be able to feel your feet to move around properly? The answer is yes, so your question is not only rude but stupid and full of ignorance.
BT’s next little bit is sexist like no other.
“C’mon gents, y’all already stole skinny jeans and short shorts. Can’t we leave SOMETHING for just the ladies?” (Keep in mind this is followed by the disgusted face emoji.)
I mean, I’ve seen transgendered men wear leggings in the most fantastic ways. Why do leggings have to be JUST for women?
And this last part? Really, BT?
“He flexes and that shit’s gonna be like to overcooked hotdogs… Just saying. All kidding aside, I wanted to tell him all of the above, but I didn’t want to be bear hugged to death” (Followed again by the disgusted face emoji.)
Do I need to discuss the poor usage of grammar again, or is it obvious for everyone by now? Overcooked hotdogs? That’s a pretty graphic description. This is the perfect lead-in to my next point.
BT received so much criticism for his original post, he took it down and replaced it with an “apology.” I’ll go ahead and post the image since there is a LOT of text, but read it and see how it only sounds like he is covering his tracks—unsuccessfully if you ask me. We live in the world of screen shots.
NOTHING is safe, people! Don’t want people to talk about the stupid things you do? DON’T DO STUPID THINGS!
No, BT, this was NOT a “misunderstanding.” To say shaming people is not in your nature … well, could’ve fooled me as this is the third time in five months. Oh, you thought I forgot about you trashing a blogger for a statement they made back in December? Think again. Not to mention anyone who posts something to the contrary of your own thoughts and feelings, you delete their comments and then block them from your page. You see, when you put yourself on people’s radar, they don’t miss much.
Your apology is half-assed and pathetic. You think reimbursing an author for your photo and fees is going to make things better? And to put a deadline on when you will honor such an offer? Despicable.
Oh, let’s not forget the Instagram post and comments.
Not ONCE did BT say in his original post “The dude was impressive as hell.” In fact, he NEVER said anything complimentary in nature. A joke? I didn’t see any laughing emojis or LOLs in that Facebook post. Did anyone else? No? BECAUSE THEY WEREN’T THERE!
My final image says everything people need to know about BT Urruela to know the man is a hypocrite and a fraud. How on earth do you call yourself a motivational speaker and the like when you say things like “… sensitive crybabies are sensitive crybabies bc they choose to be. They look for things to bitch about. It’s their way of life #nottodaysatan”
“… then the next thing you know, there’s a mob with pitchforks outside my door trying to tear down the career I’ve worked hard for over a misunderstanding.”
One mistake is a “misunderstanding” while two constitutes a problem. By the time you’ve had your third “misunderstanding” it’s a pattern. Break the cycle, BT, and take a step back. You served our country and you served it well. Do I appreciate your service? Absolutely! Do I think you need to work on your people skills? Definitely. Come back when you’ve learned how to behave like a man and not a bully.
#StopShaming #BeTheMotivationalSpeakerYouClaimToBe #StopBullying #WeAreOverYourBullshit #TakeASeatBT #StandUpForOthers #DontDefendMistreatment #PrettyFaceUglyHeart #PublishersBehavingBadly