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Photographer unknown. Scanned by Abasaa. Public domain.

Japanese troops leaving Korea in 1945, under admiring gazes of local residents.

NBC just fired Joshua Cooper Ramo, whom they’d hired to do analysis for the Olympics.

These winter Olympics are being held in South Korea. During the opening ceremonies, Ramo commented that from 1910 to 1945, Korea was occupied by Japan, “but every Korean will tell you that Japan is a cultural, technological and economic example that has been so important to their own transformation,” he added.

What? NO. Not according to this petition signed by thousands of South Koreans, which reads in part, “Any reasonable person familiar with the history of Japanese imperialism, and the atrocities it committed before and during World War II, would find such statement deeply hurtful and outrageous…. And… no South Korean would attribute the rapid growth and transformation of its economy, technology, and political/cultural development to the Japanese imperialism.”

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We love a good hostile apology song

SorryWatch reader Pablo pointed us toward this wonderful song by Christine Lavin, “Regretting What I Said to You When You Called Me at Eleven O’Clock on a Friday Morning to Tell Me That at One O’Clock Friday Afternoon You’re Gonna Leave Your Office, Go Downstairs, Hail a Cab to Go out to the Airport to Catch a Plane to Go Skiing in the Alps for Two Weeks.”

It’s not a bad apology! She doesn’t say she’s sorry for “what I said” — she TELLS the apologizee she recalls exactly what she said and why it was, uh, overkill. She says she’s sorry for her hyperbole, but not for her anger. (“I don’t really want to see you dismembered by the marijuana-sniffing dogs when a simple little nipping would suffice.”)


Posted in Musical Apologies | Tagged | 3 Comments


Oh hush, Piers Morgan.

Your old pal Donald has not “publicly apologized.” Nor was there any “stunning admission” of wrongness. I’m so annoyed I made the headline all-caps. HOW DARE YOU.  Continue reading

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A very vintage, very cretinous apology song!

not so much.

Whispering Jack Smith, (born Jacob Schmidt in the Bronx at the end of the 19th century) didn’t really whisper. He spoke-sung with a gentle, quiet, breathy cadence that he blamed on inhaling poison gas during his heroic WWI service on the battlefields of France. Good story! Actually, he was totally capable of belting, but he did really serve in the Great War, and who doesn’t love a good story and a memorable nickname? Whispering Jack’s soft, airy, talky-sing-y vibe was probably more a tribute to the development of the microphone in 1925 than to any need to whisper; it also helped distinguish him from the loud, raucous, vaudeville pack. His big hits were “Baby Face,” “Gimme a Little Kiss, Will Ya, Huh?” and “Me and My Shadow.”  He also appeared in an early Hollywood musical, 1930’s Cheer Up and Smile.

But we are here to talk about “Are You Sorry?” his popular apology number. And oh, Jack, no!  Continue reading

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20! Think about 20! Don’t think about 17!

Highpoint Church/YouTube.

It was 20 years ago.

The Washington Post headline: “A pastor admitted a past sexual incident with a teen. His congregation gave him a standing ovation.” Others also focused on the applause. “Pastor admits to ‘sexual incident’ with teen 20 years ago, gets standing ovation” said CBS News. Newsweek also headlined the applause, calling it a “bizarre response.”

That sounded peculiar. The stories said the pastor had apologized. So SorryWatch bravely viewed the entire hour-and-17-minute YouTube video of the service in question, praise songs and all. It began to make more sense. The congregation didn’t get the whole story.

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Woody Allen sorry/not sorry roundup

In 1993, Woody Allen was publicly accused of sexually assaulting his daughter, Dylan Farrow, when she was seven. (At the time, a psychiatrist sided with Allen; a judge sided with Dylan, Mia, and Ronan Farrow; and a prosector said there was evidence to proceed with criminal charges but declined to file them to “spare Dylan.”)

Last month, Dylan wrote a piece for the LA Times questioning how actors who are purportedly all-in on #metoo could justify working with Allen. She specifically named Kate Winslet, who was quick to call out the “gross misconduct of one of our most important and well-regarded film producers” (that would be Harvey Weinstein) but said of Allen, “I don’t know anything about that family. As the actor in the film [Wonder Wheel, which is now playing but I know nothing about because suck it Woody Allen and also you haven’t actually made a good movie since Hannah and Her Sisters] you just have to step away and say, I don’t know anything, really, and whether any of it is true or false…Woody Allen is an incredible director.” Farrow named Blake Lively, who said of Weinstein, “It’s important that we don’t stand for this…[t]his is unacceptable,” but of Allen, whom she repeatedly defended during and after the making of Cafe Society in 2016, she said, “It’s very dangerous to factor in things you don’t know anything about.” And Farrow named Greta Gerwig, who called the revelations about Weinstein “heartbreaking” and “overdue,” but when asked directly about working with Allen on To Rome With Love in 2012, said “You know…I think I’m living in that space of fear of being worried about how I talk about it and what I say.” Of course you are.

Farrow had written an earlier piece for the New York Times in 2014, detailing her story and asking, “What if it had been your child, Cate Blanchett? Louis CK? Alec Baldwin? What if it had been you, Emma Stone? Or you, Scarlett Johansson? You knew me when I was a little girl, Diane Keaton. Have you forgotten me?” Continue reading

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Comedian Paul Scheer — you know his face even if you’re “buh?” on his name — is one of those Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) guys who’s guest-starred in everything: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Veep, Fresh Off the Boat, Parks and Rec, Party Down, Funny Or Die, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp and Ten Years Later, Drunk History (Carl Sagan!) and he was the voice of the rhino in Kung Fu Panda. Also he was in The Disaster Artist, so maybe if he has James Franco’s number he can call and give him some pointers for the (probably shitty) apology we know is coming.

This guy.

ANYHOO. Scheer’s mea culpa. On Twitter. Is superb. The thread starts here: Continue reading

Posted in Funny-on-Purpose Apologies, Good apologies, Literary Apologies, Social Media Apologies, Twitpologies | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

A two-part apology for sexual harassment, six years later

The show was way better than this ad for it would lead one to believe.

On New Year’s Eve, Dan Harmon, creator of the show Community (“Troy and Abed in the mooooorning!”) tweeted this.

Two days later, at 2:11 am, Megan Ganz, a writer on Community, tweeted this:

Hmm. That afternoon, Harmon tweeted a response to her. Six years late is better than never!

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Posted in Addiction Apologies, Bropology, Celebrity Apologies, Twitpologies | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Career suicide

screen grab

Logan Paul in Tokyo.

Logan Paul has been successful in careers that recently didn’t exist, like “YouTube vlogger,” or that recently didn’t exist and now don’t exist again, like “Vine star.” He’s also tried perennial categories like “actor” and “just started a band!” He’s now 22.

The YouTube part of this consisted of daily videos of Paul acting goofy with various pals. Recently he decided to go to Japan with a few goofy side-kicks and post videos from there. These featured him running around Tokyo waving an octopus tentacle, mugging about how you gotta “respect the culture,” running through traffic in Pokemon costumes, teasing shopkeepers (“mucho broken”), exclaiming “Tokyo is a real live cartoon!”, and dressing in embroidered coat and conical straw hat.

The website Kotaku looked at some of these and translated remarks by people confronted by Paul: “Annoying foreigner,” “dumb American,” “You’re bothering Japanese people,” and “You should never be allowed to leave your own country” are a few.

But — maybe you heard — it got much worse.

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Hey hey! Ho ho! The NRA has got to go! Have a sweet roll!

Photo: Lance Cheung. https://www.flickr.com/photos/41284017@N08/7263258612 Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Batali in 2012. Sorry about the behavior.

Usually, when people apologize twice, they do better the second time. Not always. Celebrity chef and entrepreneur Mario Batali recently stepped down from managing his businesses. He’s also not appearing on the food show The Chew, while ABC ponders whether to keep him. ABC said they only just heard the allegations about Batali committing acts of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct against numerous women. (Including one who was unconscious.) After receiving a petition with thousands of signatures, Target announced they’d stop carrying his cookbooks. Nor will he be catering the SorryWatch awards fest.

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Posted in Bad Apologies, Celebrity Apologies, Culinary Apologies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments