A Thanksgiving Day flight from New York City to Los Angeles with a connection in Arizona appeared to turn ugly between two passengers with an epic passive-aggressive note-passing battle that supposedly ended with a slap at the end of the jetway.
But Elan Gale, a producer for ABC’s “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” who tweeted the encounter with the “awful person” he identified as “Diane,” came clean Monday night about the identity of the woman who was complaining about the delay on the flight that was keeping her from her family on the holiday.
Here is Diana sitting in a chair pic.twitter.com/OE5q7j8dhr
— elan gale (@theyearofelan) December 3, 2013
The empty chair is code that Diane (“Diana” was a typo) does not exist; Gale made up the whole note-passing battle on Twitter. He had even gone to the trouble of writing on his Tumblr page later to continue the joke with an earnest message.
I know I can come across as abrasive. I know I can seem harsh. But what I’ve never done is be unkind to a person in a service position. I don’t care what’s going on with you: Don’t be rude to people who are doing their job. Don’t do it. Don’t dismiss them. Don’t act like they are less than you. Don’t abuse them just because you’re the customer and ‘The Customer Is Always Right.’ If you’re the customer, you’re only right if you’re kind, polite and positively thankful. If you’re not, you’re a jerk, and that’s the bottom line.
On Monday, Gale said he hoped his supposed saga had provided some amusement.
Even though the story has been revealed as a fake, it raised discussion about sexism (Gale had some harsh words for the fictitious Diane, which some felt would have been different had she been a complaining man) and about “Twitter shaming.”