“I…WAS…ROASTED,” exclaims a dolled-up Elle Darby in her video “i was exposed (SO embarrassing).” “Savage,” she repeats, “just savage.”
For those unfamiliar with the story behind her claims of “savagery” and defamation, here it goes:
Elle Darby, a social media influencer 86.7k followers on Instagram, and a self-described “Beauty, lifestyle & fitness YouTuber,” was thinking of taking a trip to Dublin over Valentine’s Day along with her partner, Colin. In preparation, she sent out a few emails to local hotels offering to “feature” them in her “Youtube videos/dedicated Instagram stories/posts [in order] to bring traffic to [their] hotel” in exchange for a “free accommodation” (in the above video she says free or reduced, but the latter possibility isn’t mentioned in the original letter).
Now the reason I can quote all of this to you is because that hotel, The White Moose Cafe, took the liberty of posting her email–with her name and information redacted–along with a lengthy response on their Facebook page.
Amongst the assorted ramblings typically directed toward millennials who refuse to “pay [their] way along with everyone else,” was this gem:
“If I let you stay here in return for a feature in your video, who is going to pay the staff who look after you?….Maybe I should tell my staff they will be featured in your video in lieu of receiving payment for work carried out while you’re in residence?”
LOLOLOL. The letter was signed by Paul Stenson, whose face, it should be noted, pops up when you visit their website, along with a message reading “Welcome to the Charleville Lodge Website, legit the best place for your squad to stay woke. How can we help?” (I’m so confused as to who this place is marketing to. People who are hip enough to know this lingo but aloof enough to distance themselves from it all and look upon it with disdain?)
At this point, Elle posted the above video, receiving (duh) widespread support from her followers. Interestingly, at around the 1:10 mark, she begins her spiel by declaring “I work as a ‘social media influencer,'” putting her job title in scare quotes. This seems to me like concession to Mr. Stenson’s position that she doesn’t have a real job; if she had only also included “work” in quotes, they would have practically seen eye-to-eye. But, alas, this story was far from over.
A quick recap of the events that transpired next:
- Later that day, The White Moose posts a screenshot of someone calling for bloggers to “unite” and “bombard” the White Moose with pitches to stay at their “shitty little hotel.” The White Moose’s caption: “I second that #bloggersunite.”
- Less than an hour later, they post an “OFFICIAL APOLOGY TO BLOGGERS” which begins with the phrase: “Following the incident today in which one of your members was clearly hurt and distressed about having to pay for something like everyone…” and yeah, you pretty much know where that one goes. Interestingly, Mr. Stenson signs off on this one as “Paulie.”
- The next day they repost a screenshot of a private message in which Paul is called a “low life unhappy cunt.” The caption on this one is: “The hate is continuing today. All because we asked somebody to pay for a room in our hotel. The mind boggles.” Sounds like someone’s getting soft.
- Later that day, they post a message thanking bloggers for their “hard work,” saying “the publicity you’ve given us is absolutely priceless.” Snarky. No such thing as bad publicity, I guess.
- “Paulie” tells media outlets not to try to contact him, “as there’s a fair chance I’ll be stoned.”
- Paul posts another screenshot where this time he’s called a “stupid idiotic cunt.”
- The White Moose send Elle Darby an invoice for 5.4 million euros for publicity after tallying up the amount of articles that this spat had gotten her into.
- The White Moose hosts a “press conference” in which Paul apologizes to “absolutely nobody”, offers Elle a free room–which he quickly recants, saying “oh that’s bullshit” and calls the whole situation, dubbed “bloggergate,” “fake news.”
- As a most fitting–and only logical– end to this saga, The White Moose releases T-shirts reading: “I demanded freebies at The White Moose Cafe and I got was this lousy T-shirt.” Everyone ends up happy. The end, hopefully.