Before last week, Gerod Roth (aka Geris Hilton) was probably just a mild-mannered employee of the Polaris Marketing Group in Atlanta, using Facebook like the rest of us – joking around with his bros. But then he uploaded a selfie with a coworker’s 3-year-old son in the background and today’s he’s unemployed and making headlines for the worst reasons. That’s because Roth’s friends turned his selfie into an opportunity to make awful racist jokes at a child’s expense, and it eventually got back to the child’s mother and PMG employee Sydney Shelton, who was understandably pissed that adults would call her 3-year-old son a slave. Naturally, once the story became national news, there was even a hashtag dedicated to this kid who probably has no clue that any of this happened.
Roth decided that his name had to be cleared, so he agreed to an interview with FOX 5 News in Atlanta, but instead of simply apologizing and admitting that it was stupid just to upload a photo of someone else’s child, let alone not delete it when his friends started making racist “jokes,” he went a different route. Roth claims that his “entire post was taken out of context” and he’s actually the victim because his joke about the 3-year-old being “feral” wasn’t racist, and he even told one of his friends to stop making racist jokes. Sure, he could have deleted the picture or even the jokes themselves, but this isn’t about the friends. This is about Roth, a victim of his own idiotic Facebook use.
For more on this totally sincere apology, anchors Tom Storey and Briana Lane weigh in on today’s episode of The Desk.