Apologies Gone Bad
Now that I’m back in Los Angeles after our exhilarating road trips to New York and Philadelphia, I have to tell you, it was simply an amazing week of live shows. I was so busy, I kind of fell off the news curve a bit. Distracted or not, I couldn’t help but notice a few stories that had me just shaking my head. Along with an abandonment of civility, I wondered if this week should be tagged the “Week of the Bad Apology.”
First, there was Serena Williams ending her semifinals defeat at the U.S. Open with a profanity-laced tirade against an official, then releasing a written statement that sounded far more like an attempt to excuse her behavior. Instead of apologizing to fans, officials, Kim Clijsters (her opponent and the eventual champion), or to anyone else, Williams thanked supporters for “understanding that I am human.” If, and only if, she thinks she was wrong, she might just want to say she is sorry, ask the folks for forgiveness and move on. Serena is a great champion, a great ambassador for the game of tennis and has a long record of being gracious in victory and defeat. She had a bad day; a meltdown over what I think was a questionable call. Admit it, apologize and move on. I admired her before and still do, but if you are sorry, just say so. If not, say that too.
Then came Kanye West’s “apology” for his little stunt he pulled at the VMA’s. Did he go up to Taylor Swift after the show to apologize for his behavior? Oh, no, he didn’t apologize to her at all that night. West did his mea culpa a couple of nights later on Jay Leno’s new show, dressed all in black. “It was rude, period,” mumbled West, looking as distraught as possible. Of course, one couldn’t help but wonder if he was actually just thrilled down to his toes, because he had gotten the entire country talking about him — a man who never ignores a spotlight. By the way, I chatted with Taylor and her mother in the hallway backstage at The View on Tuesday, and they certainly seem to be handling it with class and even some humor. Very nice folks.
And needless to say, there is the continuing hullaballoo over Rep. Joe Wilson, the Republican from South Carolina, who boorishly shouted, “You lie” during President Obama’s health care address to Congress. Depending on which side of the political aisle you’re on, he either hasn’t apologized sincerely enough for his comment, or he has apologized way too much. Wilson (who has announced he’s issuing no more apologies), no doubt, couldn’t be happier over the controversy. After years of obscurity, he’s not only become a huge political celebrity, he’s reportedly raking in giant campaign contributions for his upcoming election.