This week, British influencer Elle Darby posted a lengthy video entitled “I was exposed (SO embarrassing),” explaining how she had been shamed on Facebook by a Dublin hotel. A hotel! Not since my favorite married teen YouTubers — Brianna and Jaelin White — were tragically driven out of the city of Chicago has there been such good, niche YouTube drama involving people you’ve definitely never heard of before.
After Darby emailed asking for a free stay at the hotel in exchange for promoting the establishment on social media, the White Moose Cafe and Charleville Lodge posted Darby’s initial email — she was looking for a place to stay with her partner for Valentine’s Day weekend in Dublin — on Facebook and offered a, let’s say, blunt response. “It takes a lot of balls to send an email like that, if not much self-respect and dignity,” the hotel owner, Paul Stenson, wrote. “P.S. The answer is no.”
Stenson blurred out Darby’s personal information, but it didn’t take long for people online to figure out who sent the email. In response, Darby posted a 17-minute video detailing her experiences since the Facebook post. “I never ever feed into drama, ever,” she begins, which is how you know it’s going to be good. “I feel so disgusting having to say this … as a 22-year-old girl running her own business from her home, I don’t feel like I did anything wrong [in asking for a free stay].”
Darby also says that in “all the time” — that’s all of three years — she’s never gotten any rude responses to her solicitation emails, and that her initial email was sent “with nothing but the purest intentions.” The intentions being a five-night stay at the hotel in question. Since then, she says she’s been inundated with nasty comments and tweets targeting her over the email, “internet-bullying a 22-year-old girl who is trying to do nothing but run her own business, raise awareness about what appeared to be an absolutely stunning hotel.”
I cannot recommend this video enough.
The White Moose Cafe followed up with another Facebook post saying it will be banning bloggers from patronizing the business going forward. “Perhaps if you went out and got real jobs you’d be able to pay for goods and services like everybody else,” the post reads. (Somebody should probably tell him that in 2018, social-media-influencing is a real job, and a potentially lucrative one at that.) “If any of you attempt to enter our premises from now on, you will be ejected.” A third post thanked “all the bloggers” for the free publicity in light of recent dramatic events.
You’re welcome, my dude. Elle, you’re also welcome. Nobody here really comes off looking like a winner — though the man who decided to publicly shame a woman rather than just delete her email and have a good chuckle with his co-workers might be less of a winner — but it almost doesn’t matter. The hotel got a whole bunch of free press. Darby got a load of new followers and more publicity than she’s likely ever had in her career. And you, you got to read this post.