The most hated man in the US

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The Independent US

A hitherto unknown Englishman has, with a performance of towering snobbery on a reality show, managed to turn himself into one of the most disliked men in America.

In Wife Swap, Stephen Fowler, an environmental entrepreneur living near San Francisco, shared his house with Gayla Long, a fast-food-eating mother of four from a small town in Missouri. His remarks included: “Your two languages seem to be bad English and redneck” and “I didn’t know you could read”. He came across, said a report, as “a stereotype of the San Francisco elitist liberal tree-hugging do-gooder who acts morally superior while putting down other people”.

The outcry is such that Mr Fowler, who is a US citizen, had to resign from the boards of two non-profit corporations, had death threats, and inspired the website He has now put a lengthy apology on his wife Renee’s website. “Clearly,” he writes, “I behaved like a complete jerk.”