Would you like to read a case study in shitty apologies and social media implosion? You are in luck!
VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates) is a journal of young adult literature. It recently reviewed a novel called Run by Kody Keplinger. The review contained a problematic sentence. Many people pointed this out. Instead of listening, VOYA exploded like a malfunctioning ball machine, spraying invective at critics and blocking anyone who expressed even the mildest dismay, combining attacks with terrible apologies, then deleting willy-nilly.
Well, I never thought I’d type THOSE particular words in that particular order.
But the duo, who have a column in the New York Daily News, weighed in this week on the feud between Taylor Swift and Katy Perry. The one I did not know existed. AND THE DAYTIME LADIES THREW BACK WISDOM LIKE COCKTAILS. Continue reading →
What were they thinking at the mattress store in San Antonio? Maybe: ‘Let’s do a funny little ad, on the cheap, for our Facebook page. Need to highlight our all-mattresses-at-twin-mattress-prices sale! Hey! The anniversary of the twin towers thing is this weekend! PERFECT!!! We’ll make two “towers” of mattresses and KNOCK THEM DOWN! Hilarious! We crack ourselves up!’
We’ve got a flag!
They made the ad. “What better way to remember 9/11 than with a Twin Towers sale? Right now, you can get any size mattress for a twin price!” The spokesperson, store manager Cherise Bonanno, throws her arms wide to exult over the savings. The two guys behind her dodge and manage to topple the two piles of mattresses. Bonanno shrieks, then turns to the camera and smiles demurely, “We’ll never forget.”
The resulting ad might seem endearingly amateur – if only it had been about something else.
They posted the ad. The response could not have been what was hoped for. Who hopes for death threats?
Maybe headline writers are starting to catch on to the difference between apologies and hand-waving about “regrets.” With Donald Trump’s help.
No comment. Politically correct words fail me.
Just starting to. Trump’s recent remarks about unspecified regrets for unspecified remarks were not headlined an apology by the New York Times, which titled a story on the speech, “Trump Steps Out of Character to Voice Unexplained Regrets.” Although the story did refer to it as a “display of contrition,” which – not really. No.
A Washington Postheadline ran “Trump voices regret for causing ‘personal pain’.”
But ABC News stupidly went with “Trump Apologizes for Words on Campaign Trail, Says ‘I Will Never Lie to You.’”
And silly Fox Newschose “The art of the apology: Trump issues uncharacteristic mea culpa.”
It is a busy day at SorryWatch HQ, so a quick look at Ryan’s “candid and careful” (mmmphhhh) “apology” (ahahahahahahaha) appears on SorryWatch’s Facebook page, which you should follow for short takes on apologies that do not warrant extensive analysis. Like if, say, they are DUMB AS A BAG OF HAIR.
Hello, Daily Beast! We of the Internetz have short memories. Yet we of SorryWatch would like everyone to NEVER FORGET how terrible your recent apology for your life-threatening homophobic clickbait-y idiocy was. Now we will point you to another web site that issued an apology for displaying privileged cluelessness, and did so much, much better than you did.
Take a picture, Daily Beast, it’ll last longer. Sit down. Have a snack.
On Tuesday, Autostraddle ran a review of the sophisticated drawing-room comedy Sausage Party. A freelance critic pitched the site, which focuses on lesbian and bisexual women’s issues, a feature that approvingly discussed Salma Hayek’s portrayal of a queer Latina taco.
Simplicity. There’s no talk about Riley’s noble tradition of standing up to bullies, being a supportive voice of the LGBT community, or marching at the forefront of journalistic integrity. No, this is just about a boy, standing in front of a girl, asking her to put a booger on him.
Actually, this might be about might be a girl, standing in front of another girl, asking her to put a booger on her. Riley is a gender-neutral name. THE DAILY BEAST FAILED TO DISPLAY GENDER-NEUTRAL COVERAGE and instead published an entire feature about men seeking sex with other men.
Unlike The Daily Beast, Riley offers reparations. Here is the booger. An eye for an eye.
Warmth. Riley concludes the note with “love” rather than with defensiveness.
Play-by-play Head-to-Head Apology Analysis from Senior Apology Correspondent Snarly:
Neither Riley nor The Daily Beast offers an explanation for the initial offense, and neither explains precisely how they will ensure that it does not happen again. But because Riley’s tone is less self-justifying, defensive, self-aggrandizing, faux-heroic, and because Riley is more direct and does a far better job owning the sin (their note does not use the term “inadvertently,” though Riley certainly could have said, “Although I chased you with my booger, I never assumed you thought I’d smear it on you, because it was a JOKE, Ciara, A JOKE — but since you inadvertently and mistakenly thought that was my aim and you misunderstood my intentions, that is on me, and though I am not the decider I am the owner of the finger in question, and mistakes were made,” Riley DID NOT SAY THAT. Riley simply apologized in a way that sounds straightforward and sincere and has thoughtfully gone the extra mile of providing a way to make things right.
Quick summary of the story before we get to analyzing the apology: On Thursday morning, The Daily Beast put up a story in which a straight, married journalist named Nico Hines used mobile dating apps to see if he could hook up with athletes in Rio. (The original URL for the piece ended in “i-got-three-grindr-dates-in-an-hour-in-the-olympic-village” — mazel tov to you, you self-congratulatory troll, and rest assured that the REST of the URL, “which-means-three-dudes-apparently-wanted-to-hook-up-with-me-before-learning-my-true-identity-as-a-sensationalist-entitled-lying-entrapping-douchecanoe” may be invisible, but WE CAN SEE IT.) Hines could have written about women looking to play, which ALSO OCCURS in an emotionally wound up location filled with young healthy humans in peak condition, but naw, he sniggeringly focused on dudes seeking dudes. He also provided a huge amount of identifying detail, enough so that a Slate journalist identified five of his victims in a few minutes of Googling. And as we know, once it’s on the Internet, it’s forever. Many gay athletes from homophobic countries are closeted for a reason. They and their families could be punished; they could lose their careers; they could go to jail or be assaulted or worse.
The Daily Beast took a few cracks at an apology. All of them suck. LET’S DIVE IN. Continue reading →
SorryWatch takes apart apologies of all sorts. We praise the good ones (and discuss what makes them good) and fling metaphorical monkey poop at the bad ones (using savage words and holding them up to ridicule). All in a helpful spirit. We examine the research on apology, discuss important historical apologies -- that's some skywriting from Australia's National Sorry Day in our banner -- and take on apologies in pop culture. We welcome your apology-related pointers, questions, dilemmas and suggestions for shaming.