The rapper 50 Cent decided to create a video in which he complained about the youth of today while he was at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. In the video, he verbally accosted a recent high school graduate named Andrew Farrell, who works at the airport as a custodian.
We decided not to include the video in this article because it contains strong language, but you can view it here.
The video starts with 50 talking directly into the camera and saying:
“The new generation is crazy. They crazy.”
Then he approaches Farrell, who quietly pushes his custodial cart along the airport corridor, and asked:
“What’s your name?”
Farrell just shakes his head and continues to push the cart. He keeps his eyes trained straight ahead and looks uncomfortable. But 50 keeps following him, with the camera trained on him.
“Look at him … What kinda s— you think he took before he got to work today? He high as a … [obscenity] … right here in the airport, pupil dilated everything, lookin’ like.”
50 continues to moves the camera to capture a portrait of Farrell’s face, while the young man shakes his head and tries to look away. And finally, the rapper concludes the video saying:
“The new generation is … [obscenity] …crazy.”
He then shared the video on Instagram, apparently considering himself to be a cultural critic. Of course, the video went viral and was seen by an acquaintance of Farrell who wrote:
“I went to school with him. He has extreme social difficulties just to let you know. He has a hard enough time getting through life without jackasses like you making fun of him. I hope you feel good about yourself. You just lost a huge fan.”
Ultimately it came to the attention of Farrell’s parents as well, who were appalled and went on TV to say so. It turns that Andrew has a hearing impairment, autism and social anxiety disorder. Farrell’s stepfather said: “It hurts to watch that, it’s painful. You come up and you start talking to a kid you know nothing about. That’s not fair. That’s a slap in the face.”
“Why would you attack my kid like that?” Farrell’s mother, Amanda Kramer said.
On Tuesday, 50 Cent released a brief apology that reads:
“While the incident at the airport resulted from an unfortunate misunderstanding, please accept my sincere apologies for offending you. It was certainly not my intent to insult you and I wish you and your family well.”
The Farrell family accepted the apology, releasing another statement:
We would first like to thank everyone for the amazing amount of support that they have shown over the past few days. It has been an emotional roller coaster that we are ready to put to rest. As requested we have received a letter apologizing for 50 cent’s behavior and we have chosen to accept it, along with a request that a donation be made to Autism Speaks. Though a letter of apology will not undo what 50 cent has put our family through, we are choosing to forgive. A great lesson can be learned from this heartbreaking situation. Regardless of the way that another person appears to you, it is never okay to publicly humiliate them via social media. We hope that this situation brings more awareness to what people with autism and other forms of social anxiety suffer through on a daily basis. Again, we thank the growing number of supporters who have shown both love and acceptance during this difficult time.