“Modern Family” star Ed O’Neill was sitting at LAX airport when a fan approached him and asked for a photo. He agreed and the excited fan thanked the actor and walked away. O’Neill thought nothing more about it until the fan posted the selfie on her Twitter account.
The Twitter post was captioned “Fancy running into this guy! Such a sweetheart!!” Thousands of people shared the post.
Ed doesn’t have a Twitter, Facebook or Instagram account and he did not see the post. He only became aware of it after his phone was bombarded with messages regarding the person in the photo. As it turned out, Ed had no idea who the person was.
Unbeknown to Ed, the woman he was posing with was an international pop superstar Britney Spears.
The post gained over 53,000 likes overnight because of Britney’s star status and her millions of followers. Britney’s fans are relatively young, many of whom had no idea who Ed O’Neill was either. Many of the comments beneath the post were actually asking about the identity of the man.
Once the superstar’s identity was revealed to Ed, he found it laughable, but also embarrassed that he did not know what she looked like even though her name was extremely familiar. He called the singer’s manager and apologized profusely for the mistake, not recognizing one of the most famous women in the world is a big faux pas.
When Britney ran into O’Neill, she was dressed like a regular person. Plus, she had no entourage with her. Perhaps if she had, Ed might have been able to identify her as somebody famous.
Britney didn’t comment on Ed’s admission of not knowing who she was. Hopefully, Ed and Britney will have a nice chat the next time they meet in Hollywood.
A year later, Ed appeared on The Ellen Show. The talk show host couldn’t wait to ask him about the incident.
Ed then said “I was flying alone to Hawaii. I was waiting for my flight to board…I saw a woman approaching me…I was leaving. She came up and said, ‘Oh, Mr. O’Neill, I love Modern Family, and you’re my favorite on the show…Could you please, and I know you’re in a hurry.'” O’Neill said that Britney “couldn’t have been nicer,” so he agreed to pose for a picture with her.
Ellen couldn’t believe Ed didn’t recognize his eager fan in the airport. Ed responded, “Look at the look on my face. Do I look like I’m sitting with Britney Spears?”
After Britney posted the picture with the Modern Family patriarch, rumor had it that she would make an appearance on Modern Family.
Britney has made numerous appearances in sitcoms, including How I Met Your Mother, Will & Grace, Glee, and The Simpsons. Her performances have been highly praised by her co-stars and producers, which may win over the Modern Family producers.
On the off chance that Ed had refused to take a photo, it would have been highly likely that Ed’s rudeness would have got out to press and articles would have been splashed all over social media. What a lucky escape!