‘Crazy plane lady’ Tiffany Gomas could have learned from viral sensation Oliver Anthony, author says

Tiffany Gomas, the viral “crazy plane lady,” should have taken a page from the playbook of viral singing sensation Oliver Anthony, who recently broke his silence with a humble social media post, according to author Chris McMurray, who is quite familiar with a sudden rise to accidental fame.

“You take something that’s heartfelt, something that people understand, understand the pains of just regular life and how that can be overcome, and you can be OK, and you can express yourself in this way and do good for people. What a difference and people are going to gravitate towards it. He’s going to explode, no doubt about it. It’s a totally different approach than what Tiffany did,” McMurray told Fox News Digital.

In 2012, McMurray, owner of “Crumb and Get It” bakery in southwestern Virginia, wouldn’t allow then-Vice President Joe Biden to use his store as the backdrop for a photo opportunity the Obama re-election campaign was staging in the area. At the time, McMurray was peeved over comments then-President Obama had recently made about small business owners. McMurray made national headlines for rejecting the vice president, emerging as a hero among conservatives in the process while landing a variety of media appearances, speaking engagements and a plethora of new customers. A Washington Post published a report, “Baker who shunned Joe Biden gets star turn,” detailing the time he introduced Mitt Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, at a campaign event. McMurray was able to capitalize on his 15 minutes in the spotlight and even authored the recently released book “Food Stamps to Franchise: A Life Journey from Brokenness to Success” as a result.

Gomas, the Dallas marketing executive who went viral for an American Airlines meltdown, famously declared “that motherf—er is not real” and inspired a storm of debates and memes. She recently apologized for the disruption and rebooted her social media presence with a campaign “promoting positive mental health and standing up against cyberbulling.”

McMurray, who is familiar with being launched into the cultural zeitgeist, doesn’t feel her video was particularly authentic.

“Which Tiffany Gomas is the real one? Is it the one that’s on a tirade in the plane or is that the one that is, you know, cool and collected and the apology that was posted nearly a month later,” McMurray said.

“I see kind of a little bit of disingenuousness in that apology. And, you know, I’m going to spend a few minutes on an apology, but then I’m also going to shift and say, hey, come look at my efforts or come help me fundraise or whatever that ends up being for her,” he continued.

McMurray feels Gomas lacked emotional awareness on the plane, and she should have simply admitted she “messed up” in a standalone apology. He praised her for wanting to use the viral moment as a launching pad to promote positive mental health and fight cyberbullying but said it’s something that should have been “developed later,” down the road from the apology. Gomas is known as the woman shown gesturing toward the rear of an airplane cabin and shouting, “I don’t give two f—s, but I am telling you right now, that motherf—er back there is not real.” People have been curious about who or what exactly “wasn’t real,” and McMurray said she could have benefited from explaining the truth.

“It could have spoken to how genuine she was and the apology, if she sort of brought that as a piece of explanation of ‘this is why I said that.’ You know, right now we’re all thinking this is just a crazy plane lady… no one still knows what she’s talking about,” McMurray said.

“That would have been an interesting angle from a PR perspective if the apology would have been kind of stand-alone, but then she would have sort of maybe made light, or added a little bit of humor, through the explanation of what occurred, instead of just sort of dodging the entire conversation,” he continued. “That’s what everybody’s obsessed with, right? They want to know what in the world is she talking about.”

McMurray believes an honest explanation would have ended speculation and failing to offer one was another mistake.

“I think there were just many, many missteps, even just from a PR perspective,” he said.



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