Former Miss America Erika Harold Slams Media for Rewarding Bad Behavior of Elizabeth Holmes
Former Miss America Erika Harold, who is now a Harvard Law graduate, took to Twitter to criticize recent media coverage of disgraced and convicted Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes. Harold argued that a New York Times article profiling Holmes’ “new image” was essentially rewarding her behavior.
Stop Rewarding Bad Behavior
Harold’s tweet read, “We must stop rewarding bad behavior w/clout + clicks. Elizabeth Holmes isn’t being punished b/c she girl bossed ‘too close to the sun.’ She intentionally misled people re a biotechnological device, impacting patients, investors + employees. She doesn’t deserve a phoenix narrative.”
She quoted a tweet sharing the NYT article titled “Liz Holmes Wants You to Forget About Elizabeth,” which describes Holmes’ new persona as a “devoted mother” of two young children with partner Billy Evans. This reinvention comes just ahead of her imminent prison sentence for corporate fraud over Theranos, her blood-testing startup.
A Transformation Reinforced by the Interview
The interview, published on Sunday, was conducted at the San Diego Zoo, with Evans and the two children in tow, by the Times’ former reporter-at-large Amy Chozick. The implication that a transformation has taken place is reinforced by the fact that Holmes, when talking about her time with Theranos, claimed to have not been herself at all but rather a character that she had created.
Responding to Chozick, who told her that actress Jennifer Lawrence had backed out of playing her in a film, Holmes said simply, “They’re not playing me. They’re playing a character I created.”
As to why she believed she “created” that character, Holmes said, “I believed it would be how I would be good at business and taken seriously and not taken as a little girl or a girl who didn’t have good technical ideas. Maybe people picked up on that not being authentic, since it wasn’t.”
Harold’s criticism of the media’s coverage of Holmes is a reminder that we should not reward bad behavior. It is important to hold individuals accountable for their actions, especially when they have intentionally misled people and impacted patients, investors, and employees. Let’s hope that the media takes note and starts reporting on the facts rather than rewarding bad behavior.
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