Today, a judge awarded Erin Andrews $55 million. “That’s a lot” – and this time not in reference to Cam Brady’s bourbon consumption– which I am ok with. Unsurprisingly, a lot of people are not. In big cases, a lot gets lost on the average person. Logic being one. “Gollee, $55 million no one in Jefferson County has that!” or “I’ll never make that much.”
Yeah, guy no one is personally being asked to pay her. This is where people miss the fact that corporations are not people and corporations (Marriott) make $14 billion (at least in 2015). Why people have so much trouble with the word perspective is beyond me.
Erin Andrews, a hotel guest, had her room number given out to a stranger. That’s on Marriott. As a guest, you’re entitled to your privacy. It’s not their right to give out your room number, standard protocol is to respectfully say “Sorry, we can’t tell you that sir.” And although even $1 million may seem excessive, that wouldn’t even be a slap on the wrist.
Then let’s get to the other part, shall we? Two arguments that get really fun here. Usually from highly intelligent people, obviously. “She already makes a bunch of money/has a bunch of money”. This is cute, like super adorable. The amount of money you have doesn’t factor into what you’re awarded in a civil suit. If you’re kidnapped and raped and win a settlement no judge will say “I’m sorry you had to go through a nightmare of epic proportions and be raped and left for dead but you are already firmly entrenched in the 1% known as the American upper class.”
The other is, “well no one deserves that much money” and to me is the only fair argument. Because in situations like this, no matter how badly someone is hurt physically or emotionally, or has their character damaged there is no measurement for that. Which is why it’s funny to hear people say on Twitter “Shit, I wish someone would tape me naked for 75 million!” No one wants this. She didn’t ask for this. And obviously she’s entitled to money. How much is fair? No one knows. All I know is that when the guilty party is also an international corporation and not an individual whose income relies on a hot dog stand (small business owner, what what) the settlement will be shockingly larger. And yes, it’s also fair Erin sued Marriott and not the person taping her because 1)he’s already in jail and 2)it’s their fault, much like when your parents weren’t home for your high school party.
She clearly went through a lot. Having your privacy violated in such a deliberate and destructive way, especially when you’re already a public figure with a very public job would be devastating. There’s no doubting that what happened to her has left irreparable scars on her psyche and that no amount of therapy will bring back her peace of mind. (She has said whenever she checks into a hotel now she immediately switches rooms). A part of her life has been changed forever by this, and her view of the world and people in general will never be as innocent.
And as usual, the internet’s gonna internet…