Ex-ESPN reporter Britt McHenry defends fired PHL 17 staffer after viral triade

Britt-McHenry-Colleen-Campbell
Former ESPN reporter Britt McHenry (left) spoke out this week in defense of fired PHL 17 staffer Colleen Campbell following a profane tirade outside a Philadelphia comedy club that led to her firing.

Not many people have rushed to the defense of Colleen Campbell after the former PHL 17 news production staffer was fired following a nasty tirade against a Philadelphia police officer outside a comedy club went viral earlier this week.

But when Burlington County native Britt McHenry saw the video, which features Campbell spewing an endless stream of profane insults at an increasingly-patient cop, it reminded the former ESPN reporter of a rant of her own that nearly got her fired.

In a Facebook post earlier this week, McHenry urged her friends and followers to “take a second look at yourself” if they took glee in sharing the video of Campbell's lengthy outburst.

Camera icon WiL Sylvince  / Facebook
“I work at a f— news station, motherf—. I work at PHL 17!” Campbell shouted at the Philadelphia police officer as he handcuffed her. “I’m not a f— hood rat."

“I’ve been in a situation where a video was put out for the sole purpose of trying to ruin my career,” McHenry wrote. “This woman was out of line, yes. But what does it say about our culture when we gleefully film, share and consume the take downs of someone's successful life and career?”

Back in 2015, McHenry was suspended by ESPN after being caught on video verbally attacking a towing company’s cashier after the reporter's car was towed in Arlington, Va., making fun of the cashier's weight, lack of education, teeth, and living conditions. She later apologized for her “hurtful actions,” and told Marie Claire that the stress over the incident became so intense it led to her vision becoming blurry and caused her right eye to grow cloudy.

McHenry, who was among the 100 on-air personalities ESPN laid off in April, said the current social media environment we live in makes it easier than ever for one mistake to ruin someone’s career.

“Think about the patrons at some of your bars. Their most drunken moment on tape? A lot of us would be unemployed forever,” McHenry wrote.

Campbell was fired by PHL 17 as soon as management saw the video, which garnered over 3 million views before being removed from Facebook by comedian Wil Sylvince. She has been charged with resisting arrest, criminal mischief, and disorderly conduct, and is due to appear in court June 13.

Campbell says she thinks she might have been drugged, though she declined to be tested for drugs while in police custody because she recalls being advised by personnel at the station it would have delayed the process of her release.

“I am ashamed and embarrassed by my actions. They were profane, inappropriate, and offensive,” Campbell said. “The person in that video is not the real me.”

“No one is perfect. I've seen every one of my friends make mistakes, and I've made a ton of them,” McHenry added. “I hope nobody I care about has to go through that shame publicly.”

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