Too creepy to travel

Damn, it used to be a white guy in Tokyo could get away with anything – like playfully choking girls in public, randomly ramming their heads into his crotch while cheerfully shouting “Pikachu!” and Instagramming a domestic violence checklist labeled as advice on #HowToMakeHerStay.


“At least in Tokyo, if you’re a white male, you can do what you want,” Julien Blanc tells a seminar full of predator wannabes, while demonstrating his technique for pulling girls’ heads down toward his nasty bits. (Source:

But thanks to a boatload of outraged women and ex-pats* who’ve got their Twitter and know how to use it, last week, Julien Blanc – the self-styled “how to be Sex-Worthy” guru who has been running seminars to help Forever Alones “develop panty-dropping masculinity” – has recently found himself the target of a bilingual petition with 51,674 signatures and counting, aimed at banning him from reentering Japan. (*Not everyone who signed the petition would call themselves feminists, but ex-pats in general are freaked that they might be tarred with the same #foreigner brush as this douchebag.)

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Posted in Bad Apologies, Bropology, Cultures and Apology, Guest Post, Sorry If | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle

A guest post by SorryWatch Senior Kidlit Correspondent Andria Amaral, the Young Adult Services Manager at the Charleston County Public Library in South Carolina. 


Jacqueline Woodson

As you’ve probably heard by now, after winning the prestigious Young People’s Literature Award for her gorgeous book Brown Girl Dreaming at the National Book Awards on Wednesday night, Jacqueline Woodson was the subject of a hilariously unfunny and appallingly racist “joke” about her allergy to watermelons, delivered by the event’s MC, Daniel Handler.

Not Jacqueline Woodson.

One of the most upsetting things about this whole debacle is the way it’s shifted attention away from Woodson’s achievements and toward Handler’s buffoonery. Continue reading

Posted in Guest Post, Literary Apologies, Media Apologies, Twitpologies | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Now that he knows…

Photo: Qyd. GNU Free Documentation license, Version 1.2

Nice people welcome in Calgary.

This story starts very badly, but gets better.

A young man raped a girl in 1997. He was 22, a veteran, sleeping on the floor at someone’s house in Calgary, Alberta. So was a 13-year-old girl at a sleepover. He raped her.He kept whispering “It’s okay.” She kept saying “No.”

It wasn’t okay. She didn’t keep it secret. Jamie Raymond Green was charged with sexual assault and sexual touching of a minor, but after a preliminary inquiry, he disappeared.

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Posted in Accepting apologies, Belated Apologies, True Crime Apologies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Attention all athletes: this is how you apologize


You know what they say: Big glove, big cheater. (Actually they don’t say this.)

Former New Zealand star cricket player Lou Vincent threw dozens of matches. Threw ‘em like confetti. When charged with the crime, he pleaded guilty. He apparently tried no weaselly moves to save his career. Though he has struggled with depression and heart problems, he did not blame his physical or mental health for his match-fixing shenanigans. His apology is a model a whole lot of American athletes could emulate. Continue reading

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Creepery in uniform

Postcard. Public domain.

My phone is completely secure. I think.

It’s worrisome to be pulled over by the Highway Patrol. Alarming when they ask if you’ve been drinking. Often people respond by demonstrating how cooperative, how compliant, how law-abiding they are. Good evening officer! Politely, you hand over your driver’s license, the registration. No trouble, officer! Possibly you looked at a glass of wine or two. From across the room. To be polite.

Maybe things go from alarming to worse, and they take you in. Of course they’re not going to let you have your phone in the holding cell – HOLDING CELL?!?!?! you, sweet innocent you, are in a HOLDING CELL?!?!?!


You need a lawyer. And maybe you need tech support, because oh HELL, they’ve got your PHONE.

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Posted in Bad Apologies, Police Apologies | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

nicki minaj hates nazis, you guys!

This morning a writer from Refinery 29, Lauren Le Vine, emailed us for a comment on Nicki Minaj’s apology. (We also heard from a couple of readers wanting us to tackle it.) You see, Ms. Minaj had released a video filled with Nazi imagery. There was, predictably, distress about this. So strap on your Flammenwerfer 41 and straighten your Wehrmachtsadler, your Hoheitszeichen and your Kragenpatte, because WE’RE GOING IN. MACHT SCHNELL! Continue reading

Posted in Bad Apologies, Celebrity Apologies, Musical Apologies, Non-apologies, Social Media Apologies, Sorry If, Twitpologies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Sorry if I seemed to be legally liable in any way

Photo: Benny Mazur. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Don’t even think of taking my temperature.

Ivan Oransky of Retraction Watch pointed this out to us. Retraction Watch focuses on scientific journals, with sample subject matter including spectroscopy, peptides, climate change, surgical techniques, quantum physics, and yes, surface temperatures of naked-neck chickens.  An article in the International Journal of Biometeorology on the chickens contained material stolen from a masters’ thesis. “Proof that people will plagiarize anything they think they can get away with,” notes Retraction Watch.

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Posted in Bad Apologies, Media Apologies, Non-apologies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Archdruid Eileen forgives you

Image: Public Domain.

Archdruid Hwfa Mon is sorry if you completely missed the point.

SorryWatch seeks to understand and illuminate the apology traditions of many cultures and faiths.

We were tipped off to a clear and beautiful example from Archdruid Eileen of the Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley. The Archdruid takes on the tricky rhetoric of a “sorry if anyone was offended” apology, cuts it open, raises aloft its beating heart, and flings that into the mosh pit.

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Posted in Funny-on-Purpose Apologies, Religious Apologies, Sorry If | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What goes around comes around, and bites you from behind

It was a great get. The CEO of Microsoft agreed to speak at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference as their first male plenary speaker. He ran around talking to people, and then did an onstage interview.

Photo: OFFICIAL LEWEB PHOTOS. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Satya Nadella. Difference Feminist?

This was not a hostile interview, not a “Gotcha!” situation. Satya Nadella would be interviewed by his pal (“I adore this guy!”) Maria [Klawe], who could help him showcase the fabulous things Microsoft does for women in tech (“He’s a spectacular human being!”).

“Here’s how I got him to come,” Klawe said, kneeling and clasping her hands pleadingly. Klawe is president of Harvey Mudd College, so she has practice being persuasive. She told him “If you do this, Satya, you’ll gonna enable your recruiters to recruit women at all stages, because you’ll be the first CEO to do it!”

Since it was an interview, he wouldn’t have to prepare a speech. Though in my opinion he might still have done a little preparation. Familiarized himself with a few relevant issues.

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Posted in Bad Apologies, Corporate Apologies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

You’re welcome to watch and cheer for us

screen grab

I take a different view.

An August evening in a small public park in San Francisco’s Mission District. Neighborhood kids playing soccer. A group showed up, saying they had reserved the field for an hour, from 7 till 8pm. They looked like prosperous white guys, an impression their tech-company Tshirts did not dispel.

The reaction was negative, a bit raucous, and caught on video, by someone who knew there’d be pushback. The video begins with a sotto voce intro: “6:55. Homies are playing. They’re waiting for the field at 7. It’s about to go down.”

“They” – soon to become widely known as the “tech bros” – wanted people off the field so they could play. (They were trying to have a Dropbox-versus-Airbnb game, but they were wise enough not to say so.)

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Posted in Bad Apologies, Corporate Apologies, Social Media Apologies, Twitpologies | 2 Comments