Saturday, February 20, 2010

15 Most Insincere Public Apologies

Whether it’s arrogance, publicity stunts, or just plain stupidity, plenty of celebrities have said and done things that have caused them to be coerced, persuaded or personally compelled to offer a public apology. As uncomfortable as that may sometimes be for the person making the apology, at times it can be almost embarrassing to watch too. Here are 15 examples of public apologies by people who didn’t seem to be all that sorry.

Tiger Woods

A professional athlete with mistresses? You don’t say. Tiger Woods is holding a small press conference today where he will discuss his adultery scandal and apologize for his behavior. Tiger is far from the first celebrity who has cheated and gotten caught, nor the first to allegedly suffer from an addiction to sex. We’re not sure who he owes an apology or explanation — other than his wife — but he has to appease his sponsors and attempt to repair his image. Given that this is the incentive, his apology is likely to be quite hollow.

John Mayer

On February 10, John Mayer used Twitter as his medium to offer apologies for the racial slur and other amazingly offensive remarks he made during a Playboy interview. Mayer used the “N” word, said his penis was similar to a white supremacist, made sexual remarks about ex-girlfriend Jessica Simpson and rattled off the names of a few black women he thinks are not bad looking, for black girls. In summary, he made a complete ass of himself — again.

Chris Brown

Chris Brown recorded this video trainwreck to offer his apologies for beating the crap out of his then-girlfriend Rihanna back in February 2009. The video was released more than five months after the assault. Brown says he would have apologized sooner, but his handlers had a muzzle on him. He’s profoundly sorry — or at least the person who wrote his prepared statement intended for him to sound that way. We don’t think Brown has a future in acting.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney

In 1966, after John Lennon made the offhanded remark that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus, the Vatican denounced the group and there was a huge public backlash. On August 11, 1966 the Beatles held a press conference, but instead of an apology, it sounded a lot more like “sorry you have a problem with it.”

Don Imus

On April 4, 2007, during the nationally syndicated Imus in the Morning show, Don Imus described the Rutgers University women’s basketball players as “nappy-headed hos” during an extremely offensive racist exchange with executive producer Bernard McGuirk. Imus initially brushed over criticism of his remarks, but then issued a public apology that was too little, too late. His show was suspended on April 9. There was more bad news for Imus on April 11 when MSNBC announced the decision to pull the plug on the simulcast of the show. During this time Imus couldn’t seem to keep his mouth shut, telling Al Sharpton “you can’t make fun of everybody, because some people don’t deserve it.” On April 12, CBS Radio cancelled Imus in the Morning. However, Imus got the last laugh. He sued CBS for the $40 million left on his contract. CBS bought out the contract and Imus walked away with millions. He returned to radio on December 3, 2007 on ABC Radio with video simulcast by RFD-TV and resumed making racist remarks.

Mel Gibson

In 2006, Mel Gibson made a public apology for his anti-Semitic tirade directed at sheriff’s deputies. He apologized profusely, but seemed to place the blame not on his own ignorance, but on his problem with alcoholism.

Marv Albert

In 1997, sportscaster Marv Albert was accused of sexual assault by his former lover, Victoria Perhach. Albert and Perhach had a 10-year affair and apparently plenty of kinky sex, which included cross-dressing and pain. Perhach claimed that Albert attacked and bit her. Albert, during what was supposed to be his public apology for the assault, said biting was consensual between them and that Perhach was just bitter because he had ended their relationship.

Charlie Sheen

What a guy. When Denise Richards’ mother was undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, Charlie Sheen sent her an insulting and abusive e-mail telling her to “go cry to your bald mom.” He also left a voicemail for Richards, which she leaked to the public, calling her the “C” word and the “N” word. Three years later — yes, three — he apologized for his choice of insults, noting that he actually has a black friend. He also justified the anger he felt towards Richards by saying it was caused by her constantly jerking him around about visitation with their children.

Kanye West

Yep, you know “Imma let you finish but…” this list couldn’t possibly exist without Kanye West. After storming the stage at the VMAs while Taylor Swift was accepting her award for best female video, he issued an all-caps attempt at an apology on his blog, with “BEYONCE’S VIDEO WAS THE BEST OF THIS DECADE!!!!” thrown in the middle. He’s not crazy ya’ll, he’s just “REAL.” He apologized and tried to justify his actions several more times, including on the Jay Leno show, where he became emotional when asked about his mother and said he just wanted to help.

Johnny Cash

in 1964, Johnny Cash was driving his truck in Los Padres National Forest in California when one of his wheels caught on fire. The wheel caught the grass on fire and the fire quickly spread. Cash jumped out of the truck, grabbed his fishing pole and decided to ignore the fire. He wasn’t sorry for the fire, or the fact that it killed half of the world’s California Condor population. In his autobiography he is quoted as saying, “I don’t give a damn about your yellow buzzards. Why should I care?” Cash may well be the most sincere person on this list, as he hardly apologized at all for the incident.

Dr. Dre

In 1990, Dr. Dre ran into rapper and tv personality Dee Barnes at a record release party. Barnes had recently interviewed Ice Cube about leaving N.W.A., which Dre didn’t appreciate. He slammed her face and right side of her body into a wall repeatedly and had his bodyguard stop anyone from interrupting the beat down. He attempted to throw her down the stairs, but she fought back and instead received some kicks to her ribs and a punch in the back of the head. Dre’s apology was simply this: “People talk all this shit, but you know, somebody [expletive] with me, I’m gonna [expletive] with them. I just did it, you know. Ain’t nothing you can do now by talking about it. Besides, it ain’t no big thing– I just threw her through a door.”

Michael Vick

After initially lying about his involvement in a brutal and disgusting dog fighting ring, the evidence was so obvious against Michael Vick that he decided a public apology was in order. While he seemed sincere on the surface, his prepared statement about letting people down seemed to be deeply rooted in the remorse of being caught — and the prospect of going to prison.

Martha Stewart

Rather than come right out and apologize for insider trading, Stewart danced around the issue of her guilt. If she did anything wrong, we’re sure she’s politely and adequately sorry about it. However, it’s difficult to consider an apology sincere when there is no admission of wrongdoing. Come on, Martha, you did your time.

Michael Richards

Michael Richards unleashed a racist rant while performing a stand-up comedy gig in 2006. He used the “N” word six times after being heckled by two black men. During his ultra-uncomfortable public apology, Richards said his anger fueled his rage, not racism or bigotry. Even his apology sounded hostile.

Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh accused actor Michael J. Fox of exaggerating the symptoms and effects of Parkinson’s disease, calling Fox’s trembling in a pro-stem-cell commercial “purely an act.” When he was informed that it was not an act, he said that if he were wrong, he would apologize to Fox. To date, we know of no sincere apology.
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