I’m 33 years old. And I have been a part of the romance writing community longer than BT Urrella. And this post isn’t about name calling or anything like that – there might be some shade but it cannot be helped.
When BT Urrela first came to my attention, it was through Michael Stokes. No one does the male body better than Mr. Stokes. I didn’t care that BT was an amputee – a gorgeous man is a gorgeous man and believe me he is beautiful to look at – but apparently, from what I’ve been reading, he may be good to look at but he can be a bit of a prick.
Before I get to that – I also watched him on the television show Coupled and from what I saw, I thought for sure he was a pretty decent guy. With that said, when I found out I could buy his picture for book covers, I was over the moon! I didn’t care how much they cost. I was determined to save and save until one or more of those pictures were mine. But most of you know me, and bad behavior is bad behaviour and I can’t tolerate that.
Let me say this, I am a strong believer in second chances and of learning from one’s mistake. But when you do asshole things on more than one occasion, people have to start thinking that, yes, you are an asshole. Maya Angelou said “when someone shows you who they really are, believe them.”
It came to my attention that BT has ‘fat shamed’ someone and at first I laughed because I couldn’t believe it. I mean, he seemed like a nice guy, writing, modeling, the world is his. Why would he do something like that? That is until someone dropped a screen capture and I was floored.
To be honest, he claims it was a joke. We all have those moments when we make what we thought was a funny joke and it turns out it wasn’t so funny. We have those.
But this, I don’t know why Mr. Urrela thought this would be funny. Someone needs to look up the definition of the word “joke” and send it to Mr. Urrela. First of all, taking someone’s picture without their permission is illegal–first of all. And an ex-playboy bunny is finding that out the hard way at the moment as she was charged for doing this exact same thing. Only difference is, the guy isn’t naked and the woman in that other case was. Secondly, how dare you take someone’s picture without their permission and post it on social media?
That is cruel.
The man is there working out, trying to be healthy and instead of going over, shaking his hand and working out with him, you’re posting his business all over social media as a “joke.” I dare you to take this to this man and see if he finds it funny.
Then, to make matters worse, when the backlash began, Mr. Urrela, began calling all those who opposes his assholeness “crybabies” because apparently, being a decent human being and calling bullshit to his crap makes people “crybabies.”To add to that, he began deleting comments from all who opposes his assholedness. (Yes, I am quite aware that assholeness and assholedness aren’t real words but this occasion calls for it).
Seriously? Then, his photographer starts defending him. How can you defend this mess? Sure, from a business standpoint I get it, you’ve sunk so much work into Mr. Urrela that now you’re trying to back him thinking it will make the mess magically go away but it just makes me not want to support you either. You cannot, in good conscience think this is okay.
Then, after the above post, Mr. Urrela posted something he thinks is an apology. Listen, if he’d posted that before he posted the above, then I would be like “okay, he knows he has been king asshole and he is sorry he was being king asshole” but after the above post I just think that now he’s only apologizing because, one, he got caught. Two, someone is making him, and three he doesn’t mean a word of it. Then, he and his photographer begins deleting people’s comments whenever they say anything about the whole situation that isn’t kissing both their asses. Someone tried explaining that even if BT meant this as a joke, it was a poor one and he shouldn’t have done it. Another author was called “a nobody trying to start something” and blocked. So even after people are trying to explain to him why the few of us who is livid at his behaviour, are the way we are, he doesn’t listen. Doesn’t care. This shows he’s not sorry at all. He just said it to save face.
Look, the romance industry has been taking hit after hit recently. From underhanded business dealings within publishers, to lack of diversity to models who think they are the be-all and end all in the industry. We have been trying to show the world that romance is a serious field, that we are inclusive, that we love and support each other and that we carry ourselves with integrity and decorum. But this, Mr. Urrella, is not okay. This goes against everything we authors have been fighting for since day one. For people to take us seriously. How can they do that, when we fat shame others then act as if we didn’t do anything wrong?
Here’s my bottom line – If when people began showing outrage, Mr. Urrela had manned-up and gave a true apology, things would not have gotten this out of control. And before you say, this isn’t a big deal, imagine this man in the photo was your child. And you’re going through the internet and see this picture, with that same caption and all the comments below it. Would you think this wasn’t a big deal? Or imagine if the man in the photo was you – Would you think this was funny?
We’ve become a world of assholes because we’re behind a keyboard and a screen. We do not take people’s feelings in account because we feel we cannot be held responsible for our actions. Maybe, the few of us standing up won’t be able to do much, but at least we can let Mr. Urrela and people like him know this is not okay.
Mr. Urrela, I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but the gym is for working out and maybe picking up chicks (we hate that by the way). You shouldn’t be taking anyone’s pictures unless they are of you! You’re the kind of sorry excuse of a human being, that makes some people not want to go to a gym, who make women wear make-up to go work out because some idiot with a camera is going to take their picture and broadcast it to the world. That is NOT a safe environment.
People do not go to the gym to be your very own, private punchline.
And word of advice, when you show up somewhere late, you don’t walk in banging around, dropping things, slamming doors – no. You’re late. You walk in, take the first seat you can find, sit down and shut the hell up. You’re new to this community, and for you to be causing such an uproar, it’s not appreciated. And if you can’t behave your damn self, get the hell out.
I will no longer be supporting Mr. Urrela or anyone he operates with. This includes photographers. I may be a small fish in a big pond but this small fish is going to stand up to this kind of behaviour the only way she can – by spending my money elsewhere.