Last week's Kitchen Nightmare's featured some of the most-hated instant villains in reality T.V. history. Amy and Samy Bouzaglo of Scottsdale, Arizona, stole their staffs' tips, fired people on the spot for minor transgressions, and refused to consider any of Gordon Ramsey's suggestions to improve. The pair was so insufferable, Ramsey finally walked out and stopped production, the first time he's ever done so. And the drama didn't stop there. A few days later, a string of nasty Facebook posts, reportedly from the restaurant (they claim they were "hacked"), set off a social media firestorm.
The couple have been bellyaching for years about their "bullies" and "haters," to little sympathy from the rest of the world. Many bloggers and entertainment writers out there have summed this couple up quite nicely, but perhaps ABC's Alex Alvarez did it best. Wrote Alvarez this week: "The reality is that most people do not know or care enough about you to hate you. The internet will always be populated with trolls, but those people are entirely distinct from people who disagree with or criticize you. People are able to not enjoy your service, product, or performance while having no opinion of you as a person. People are capable of not enjoying a pizza dish while also not actively plotting to bring on your demise and that of your restaurant. And those are the people worth listening to. They can potentially make you and what you do better."
This whole saga set off an interesting discussion of what haters and bullies really are and what role social media plays in one's interactions with their clientele, fans, and non-fans. It highlighted the simple fact that many times, "hate" is just constructive criticism that the recipient just could not handle.
Tuesday, Amy's Baking Company will re-open for dinner service. With boobyguards in place and a sold out house, this ridiculous saga is probably not over yet. The drama has already started, with Kitchen Nightmares reportedly sending what sounds like some kind of cease and desist to the couple, which caused them to cancel a planned press conference tomorrow. Darn, that press conference could have been good!
You can watch the Kitchen Nightmare's episode in full on Youtube.