Elyse Porterfield Dry Erase Board Hoax

Elyse Porterfield Dry Erase Board Hoax

Part of a series on Public Resignation. [View Related Entries]

Updated May 12, 2014 at 04:21PM EDT by Brad.

Added Aug 10, 2010 at 05:20PM EDT by ajb2x.

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Overview

Elyse Porterfield Dry Erase Board Hoax (a.k.a Girl Quits Her Job On Dry Erase Board, a.k.a HPOA Dry Erase Girl) is a series of images where an office assistant quits her job in a dramatic fashion by writing her messages on a dry erase board. Shortly after the story posting the girl would be revealed to be actress Elyse Porterfield, and the story a complete hoax.

Background

On August 10, 2010, photo aggregation blog theCHIVE posted a series of pictures of a girl holding a white board with the following description as to the origin.

We received the following photos last night from a person who works with this girl. Her name is Jenny (not confirmed) – we’re working our contact for Jenny’s last name. Yesterday morning, Jenny quit her job with a (flash)bang by emailing these photos to the entire office, about 20 employees we’re told. Awesome doesn’t begin to describe this office heroine. Check back as we will be updating if we get more details.

The notes contained on some of the boards expresses the hatred “Jenny” has towards her boss and reveals some private information like his on the clock FarmVille habits.

Development

Social Media Coverage

The day after posting, the blog post has acquired over 340,000 Likes on Facebook, over 7,000 diggs, and over 2,750 page comments.

  • 8/10 Digg posts “Girl quits her job in the most creative way.”
  • 8/10 Reddit posts “Girl quits job via picture email, takes bosses dignity with her.”
  • 8/10 BuzzFeed posts “Woman Creatively Quits Job.”

Hoax Revealed

The following day, theCHIVE posted an article A Word from Jenny which shows another series of images featuring “Jenny” and her white board, revealing the entire photo series was a prank.

“Jenny” is actually Elyse Porterfield, a Los Angeles area actress who auditioned for the part following an ad from job site Actors Access. The ad was posted August 3rd 2010, auditions happened two days later on the 5th, the photo shoot took place the day after that on the 6th.

Several publications including BuzzFeed and TechCrunch wrote about theCHIVE’s hoax:

HOPA / HPOA

The acronym HPOA (pronounced or also spelled as HOPA) was dropped in a few of the white board pictures as something “Jenny’s” boss was calling her behind her back. It is explained that HPOA stands for Hot Piece Of Ass. Urban Dictionary has had the term on record since April 2nd, 2004 and was made the August 11, 2010 Urban Word of the Day. Some blogs covering the hoax would refer to “Jenny” as a HPOA or identify her as the HOPA Dry Erase Girl.

Steven Slater / JetBlue Comparison and Clarification

A day before this hoax was posted, a JetBlue flight attendant quit his job by snatching a beer and leaving on the escape schute. Many comparisons are made between these two stories, both involving a grandiose way to quit a job, however the hoax was planned a week ahead of time. The JetBlue incident happening the day before is pure coincidence. theCHIVE owners Leo and John Resig have commented saying the hoax was not made in reaction to Steven Slater.

Wil Quits w00tstock!

On August 16, MythBusters host Adam Savage, actor/author/blogger Wil Wheaton and music-comedy duo Paul and Storm from w00tstock, a website describing itself as presenting “a night of songs, readings, comedy, demonstrations, short films, special guests, and other clever widgets born from and dedicated to the enthusiasms, obsessions, trials and joys of geek pride”, did their draw based upon the meme as a parody :

They are also introducing it as the following :

The w00tstock organization wishes to post the following photo correspondence from “Wil”--which is most certainly not a hoax, and is not just a derivative attempt to cash in on some meme that was funny for 36 hours last week--without comment.

That reenactement was also covered on Wil Wheaton’s personal blog as well as many other places.

Impact

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