By now you know a little bit about me. You know my name’s Amy, and that I’m a TV host, actress and comedienne. Let me tell you a little bit more.
A long time ago, in 2005, I graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia. I’ve had a wide and varied career since then.
Meandering through time, switching from one thing to the next over those 13 glorious, strange, adventurous years; whether it was playing the Mean Girl in Paramore’s ‘Misery Business’ video, to hosting ‘Jersey Shore: After Hours,’ or becoming the beloved Amazon Kindle’s MayDay Amy or interviewing literally naked people on ‘Dating Naked,’ my jobs somehow felt relevant to that specific time period.
Yes, ‘Jersey Shore’ is once again back on the airwaves — proof that time is cyclical, although it’s also linear. This brings me back to a situation (not be confused with The Situation) I experienced back when JS was on the air for the first time.
It was Halloween, 2012. I attended a charity event called ‘Halloweenie’ that I’d attended in the past and always had a wonderful time. This year was no exception. I arrived in my lion tamer outfit, ready to walk the red carpet.
To my surprise and delight, a reporter whom I worked with nearly seven years prior wanted to interview me for the blog he was writing for. I happily obliged as this was an old pal.
We briefly chatted and he asked me one question that ended up haunting me for years: “Snooki says she is going to stay away from TV for a while after the birth of her son. Do you think she’ll be able to do that?”
To which I replied, “Oh, Snooki is the biggest attention whore I know, I think she’ll stay in the public eye. That’s where she belongs!”
We both laughed and he agreed. It all seemed innocent, it was a very casual and off-the-cuff comment to someone I considered a friend. I didn’t mean it with any malice or disdain, it was more like calling your bestie something you all know she is and she’s in on the joke.
The next day I woke up to a shitstorm.
My ‘friend’ decided to twist the words and attached a malicious and salacious headline “Jersey Shore host pulls no punches about Snooki.” I tried to downplay the magnitude by retweeting it and clarifying that I didn’t say in a mean way at all. It was a joke that didn’t land.
I got an email from our executive producer who asked me politely to just leave it alone and let it blow over. My heart sank. I had no idea that it would make it that far up the chain, straight to the top.
For a while, I tried to defend myself. Calling a reality TV star an attention whore is like calling the sun hot, right? It’s just a fact.
But the truth is, I had hurt Snooki’s feelings and I messed up. It’s easy to think people in the public eye can’t possibly read everything about them and that they won’t care, but I was very close to her and the show, and my words hit a nerve.
Looking back, I’ve realized it was a very poor word choice. I wholeheartedly regret using the word ‘whore.’ Maybe if I’d said “she loves attention” it wouldn’t have been such a blow.
Either way, words matter. They have an impact. It’s important to choose them wisely and be considerate of how they will land.
It goes back to Bambi: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. It’s sad that I chose to say that at all, because I loved my time on ‘Jersey Shore.’ The cast was amazing and so kind to me and it was truly a dream to work for MTV. It truly sucks that I made such a big ol’ boo-boo.
This brings me to another fiery ginger expressing shame over her use of the same word. None other than the lead singer of Paramore and my nemesis in the ‘Misery Business’ music video, Hayley Williams.
Hayley says the band will no longer sing the song live because of the following lyrics …
Once a whore, you’re nothing more
I’m sorry, that’ll never change
That’s the thing though, people do change. Hayley Williams wrote that line and she changed. I changed. Time should change you. It’s a beautiful thing.
Two strong, more mature gingers realizing they shouldn’t have chosen such a harsh word. Maybe it felt okay in that moment in time, when we were angry and sloppy and lacked prudence. (I can only attribute those qualities to myself. Hayley and I didn’t become besties, like I hoped and dreamed we might on that wonderful February day, so I don’t know if she would say the same about herself.)
Saying that word didn’t carry the same weight it does in this time. It doesn’t feel so good to say it.
Time gives you perspective. It gives you a new vantage point and hopefully, growth.
Nicole/Snooki, I apologized in person many moons ago but I’ll say it again: I’m sorry. I truly am. Do your thang girl! I am a different woman now, and surely, so are you. Two kids later, you have to have had some forward motion.
That’s the cool thing about time: It marches on. We get to become new versions of ourselves. Changing ever so slightly, slowly and steadily; or impulsively, rapidly and drastically. The choice is ours.
If you are re-living a misstep over and over, now’s the time to make amends. Admit you were wrong, and apologize. Do it without any expectation in return. You might not get the response you want, but at least you’ll get it off your chest and feel a little bit lighter.
Time: 2:22 p.m. Pacific Standard Time
Location: Los Angeles
Weather: 75 degrees and sunny