Saturday, November 04, 2017 by Jayson Veley
Virgin Active, which is a chain of health clubs located in South Africa, Italy, Spain, Australia and a few other countries, has recently come under fire for allegedly editing out the cochlear implant of one of their models, 27-year-old Simone Botha Welgemoed.
Naturally, when Welgemoed noticed that her implants were not in the advertisement when it was officially published, she was not very happy. “I was shockingly surprised, and it felt like somebody just dropped a bucket of water on me,” she said in an interview with The Sun. “I couldn’t believe what I saw when my sister tagged me in the Virgin advertisement on Instagram. I couldn’t believe what I saw.”
Welgemoed explained that she was “born profoundly deaf” and received her cochlear implant (CI) at the young age of 22 months. “At that stage I was the youngest child in Africa to receive it – without my CI I hear absolutely nothing at all,” she said. (Related: Why are healthy young men in America suddenly going deaf?)
When she realized that Virgin had digitally removed her cochlear implant, she immediately contacted the company for an explanation. “Virgin Active immediately responded to my post on Facebook and made contact with me to meet with them,” Welgemoed explained, adding that the company was extremely apologetic and that “somebody on the creative team, probably uneducated about hearing disability if I can say so, told them to remove it.”
A spokesperson for Virgin explained in a statement that the photoshopped image “is not in line with our values,” and admitted, “We got it wrong and we realize that.”
Once again, we find ourselves with a story that the left wing mainstream media will most likely stay far away from due to the fact that it’s not in line with their progressive agenda. If it were a right-leaning company or organization that had digitally removed the cochlear implants, then chances are the liberals would be seizing the opportunity to take some shots at conservative Republicans. But Virgin isn’t exactly a right-of-center company; in fact, they have been in the news on several different occasions for falling time and again on the left side of the political spectrum.
Why would the mainstream media be critical of a company whose CEO derides climate change skeptics, for example? Back in 2014, Virgin’s CEO Richard Branson wrote in a blog post that those who do not buy into the idea that mankind is having a significant effect on the weather need to “get out of our way.” The comments came not long after Apple CEO Tim Cook said essentially the same thing, urging climate change skeptics to stop buying stocks in the technology company. Evidently, Richard Branson is not a believer in the facts, nor does he agree with the conclusion that over 31,000 scientists have arrived at.
Branson even spent some quality time with former president Barack Obama on his own private island in the Caribbean earlier this year, which was apparently such a tremendous experience that the Virgin CEO felt the need to publish a full account of the vacation online. As Townhall reports, Barack Obama learned kiteboard during his time spent with Branson, which is an increasingly popular sport whereby riders surf on a board while being pulled by a kite.
In other words, Richard Branson is a leftist who likes to hang out with other leftists, so it makes sense that the left-wing mainstream media wouldn’t want to take any shots at his company, even if it deserves it. As for the model who had her cochlear implant edited out by Virgin Active, she has every right to be upset, and hopefully Virgin corrects the problem in a timely fashion.