It doesn't matter how much money you have. Sometimes you really put your foot in your mouth.
Unfortunately, when you're one of the nation's leading executives, the entire world knows about your insensitive remarks. Case in point is Canadian businessman Kevin O'Leary saying earlier this week that global poverty is "fantastic" news, which resulted in a media frenzy. But O'Leary isn't the only one who's received backlash for offensive statements. Below are examples of equally ridiculous statements made recently by our richest executives.
1. Airline Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary calls his customer "stupid."
In 2012, a British family was charged a total of $380 (or €60 euros per person) at the airline gates because they forgot to print out their five boarding passes beforehand.
Sure, that's a lot of money, but Irish carrier Ryanair is upfront about significantly fining customers who fail to provide printed tickets.
"We think Mrs McLeod should pay 60 euros for being so stupid," he said. "She wasn't able to print her boarding card because, as you know, there are no internet cafes in Alicante, no hotels where they could print them out for you, and you couldn't get to a fax machine so some friend at home can print them and fax them to you… She wrote to me last week asking for compensation and a gesture of goodwill. To which we have replied, politely but firmly, thank you Mrs McLeod but it was your ****-up."
2. AIG CEO Robert Benmosche says the public's anger over huge bonuses is "just as bad" as lynching.
When asked to respond to the public's outrage over AIG's bonuses, Benmosche told the Wall Street Journal that the public's anger was just as bad as when white supremacists used to lynch African- Americans.
"[The uproar over bonuses] was intended to stir public anger, to get everybody out there with their pitchforks and their hangman nooses, and all that — sort of like what we did in the Deep South [decades ago]. And I think it was just as bad and just as wrong."
3. Lululemon founder Chip Wilson blames women's fat thighs for stretching out yoga pants.
During the debacle surrounding Lululemon's see-through yoga pants, Wilson decided he would blame women's bodies for the sheerness.
"They don't work for some women's bodies ... it's really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there over a period of time, how much they use it," Wilson said in a Bloomberg interview.
Basically, if your thighs rub together, you can't wear Lululemon's $100 yoga pants.
4. Wilson also thinks it's funny that Japanese people have a hard time pronouncing the letter "L"
"It's funny to watch them try and say it," he said.
5. Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries had 7 years to apologize for an offensive remark — but didn't.
In 2006, Jefrries made headlines when he told Salon magazine that Abercrombie & Fitch only makes clothes for "cool, good-looking people."
"That's why we hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people," he said.
In 2013, a YouTube video went viral, showing a man giving away the retailer's clothing to homeless people.
Instead of giving an apology, Jeffries hardly apologized in his response on the company's Facebook page, saying:
"While I believe this seven year old, resurrected quote has been taken out of context, I sincerely regret that my choice of words was interpreted in a manner that has caused offense..."
6. Donald Trump challenges President Barack Obama.
In Oct. 2012, the real estate mogul announced that if President Obama revealed his college transcripts and passport application, Trump would give $5 million to charity.
When asked if Trump would show his own records, he refused.
7. Westgate Resorts CEO David Siegel threatens to fire employees if President Obama is reelected.
Siegel was so opposed to President Obama's reelection that he threatened to layoff his employees in an email:
"If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, as our current President plans, I will have no choice but to reduce the size of this company," he wrote.