An upper-level Washington, D.C. transit employee’s personal affront left her apologizing for a cringey tweet that left many calling her a “creeper” guilty of some form of sexual harassment over the included picture.
Monday evening, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) chief experience officer Sarah Meyer, took it upon herself to issue a public service announcement regarding “manspreading.”
Including a picture of a man in khakis, a dress shirt, and a tie from the shoulders down, the public relations official asked, “DC, do we really need to do a manspreading campaign on our trains?! I thought we were above this.”
While she had not deleted the tweet, the backlash that ensued prompted Meyer to restrict replies. However, that didn’t stop many from weighing in, including the oft-outspoken Matt Walsh of Daily Wire who wondered, “Why are you taking pictures of a stranger’s crotch and posting it to social media?”
More directly, columnist Phil Kerpen leveled, “Metro’s ‘chief experience officer’ is a creeper,” while the Daily Signal’s Tony Kinnett offered up “Thoughts & prayers.”
Why are you taking pictures of a stranger’s crotch and posting it to social media? https://t.co/WYvyD4EVpF
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) June 6, 2023
Metro’s “chief experience officer” is a creeper. https://t.co/TLS1qmLMM5
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) June 6, 2023
Thoughts & prayers.
— Tony Kinnett (@TheTonus) June 5, 2023
The only problem I see here is you taking a picture of someone and blasting them on social media.
— (@CallMeK1123) June 6, 2023
Eventually, the original tweet was flagged by Twitter for a violation, and on Tuesday morning she had folded to the pressure and issued a backhanded mea culpa about understanding the offense rather than owning up to any wrongdoing.
“My apologies for this tweet. It was meant in jest, but I understand how it might have offended some. I will do better and keep focused on what matters, better service, communications and wayfinding,” Meyer wrote.
My apologies for this tweet. It was meant in jest, but I understand how it might have offended some. I will do better and keep focused on what matters, better service, communications and wayfinding.
— Sarah Meyer (@SarahMeyerDC) June 6, 2023
Meanwhile, as violence has remained an ongoing problem in metropolitan areas, especially on public transit systems like the DC subway, another person had a suggestion for the experience officer about where her priorities should be.
Linking to a Washington Post article about the normalization of violence, the Twitter user suggested, “Hop on his lap if you are hot and bothered otherwise grab a seat. Worry about important issues.”
In the article, Ronald L. Moten, who reportedly worked on preventing violence in D.C. for decades, lamented, “I remember when crimes committed on buses and trains was something that you’d be like, ‘Oh, my God, what happened?’ Not it’s like, ‘Oh again.’ It’s normal. It’s part of the behavior.”
Metro Transit Police statistics said at the end of April, when Meyer joined WMATA after four years with the New York City MTA, that robberies were up 156 percent while aggravated assaults were up 35 percent and larcenies had doubled.”
At the time of her hiring, Metro CEO Randy Clarke said, “Sarah will focus on improving the delivery of timely and accurate information to customers at every touchpoint, through signage, search results, apps, and digital wallets.”
“She will also work to help make the system simpler to plan and pay for trips, to find buses or trains, and by reassuring customers that they are being taken care of by an outstanding, customer-centric workforce,” he added.
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