Yeah, He Should Lose His Gig For This

Here’s an almost foolproof way to tell if someone has just said something wildly clueless and offensive: It’s followed it up with a defense that it was meant to beflattery. So when Atlanta’s Rock 100.5′s morning host Jason Bailey says that “People should be appreciative when they get complimented,” you can rest assured that what preceded that statement was not in fact a compliment.

Last week, members of the cast of “Fantastic Four” dropped by the studio for an interview that rivals Cara Delevingne’s tense tussle with “Good Day Sacramento” on the awkwardness scale. Steven J. Rickman — known to listeners as Southside Steve — didn’t win points with the cast when he boggled over the “obvious” question of how white Kate Mara and African American Michael B. Jordan could play brother and sister. It got worse when he switched to focusing on current Mara’s short haircut, telling her, “You’re way, way hot. Why’d you cut the hair? Your hair was beautiful,” and expressing his hope that “You’re going to grow your hair back.” When Mara seemed uncomfortable, he deflected by explaining, “I’m a toe guy; your toes are fine.”Mara responded with a terse, “Wow.”

None of that is even remotely defensible. If you can't conduct yourself in an interview like you actually know how to be a broadcaster, go sell used cars and put your charm to better use. And I think it's safe to say that movie and television people are going to start negotiating themselves out of press junkets. Who can blame them?

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