The backlash has been swift and furious for James Knight, the Iowa dentist who fired his assistant of 10 years because she was “irresistibly” attractive.
Last week, the Iowa Supreme Court, a group comprised of seven men, agreed that Knight was justified in giving Melissa Nelson the boot because she posed a threat to his marriage and his self-control.
So while his sexual impulses may have been rescued from the fires of temptation, a larger group of dedicated Internet users have agreed that Knight’s business could use a little online adjustment to reflect the now-deflated state of his pants.
Ever since the story broke, people have flooded Knight’s Yelp page with damning one-star reviews in an attempt to undermine his practice.
In fact, it appears that the page may have been set up, post-story, by someone who isn’t exactly a fan: the main photo included on the page shows a toilet bowl, while another user-added photo is an image of Dr. Nick, the doctor of dubious professional qualifications from The Simpsons.
Then there are the comments, and they do not mince words.
“Would you really want to have general anesthesia and be around a dentist/oral surgeon with such poor impulses? 5 stars for true advertising - James H. Knight DDS at least advertises his creepiness truthfully, but 0 stars for the blatant pervy creepiness,” writes Roz T. over in Washington, D.C.
“BEWARE female patients...he may let you suffer in pain or give you shoddy service if he perceives you to be too attractive. And if he gives you GOOD service, that may mean that you're unattractive,” adds another commenter.
“That he fired a perfectly capable and professional woman because of his creepy fixations...and then fought her suit to the bitter end (instead of offering a financial settlement early on)...a foul person, indeed,” a user from San Francisco opines.
A few people took aim at the dentist’s religious values. Knight is an avowed Christian and many have called his principles into question.
“Don't go here unless you want inappropriate, misogynistic comments about women. Likes to present himself as Christian and moral, but is actually the complete opposite,” writes Patrick R.
The response on Twitter has been similar, with a prolific amount of posts urging folks in Fort Dodge to forgo Knight’s services, dental and otherwise.
“#Warning: Don't use dentist #JamesKnight. He can't control himself around attractive women in #IowaCity,” Anni Bricca tweets.
It’s too early to tell if the reaction will put a permanent dent in Knight’s business, but if there’s one temptation left over from this mess, it’s imagining that Melissa Nelson is sitting in Iowa somewhere, reading (and enjoying) some of the wittier takedowns on lunch break at her new and improved job.
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