OUR LONG NATIONAL APOLOGY NIGHTMARE IS OVER. (Of course it isn’t but JUST GIVE ME THIS.)
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.
ANYHOO. Scheer’s mea culpa. On Twitter. Is superb. The thread starts here:
Right off the bat, he takes care of two of our essential elements of apology: He said the thing he did, without obfuscating or eliding or making excuses, and he started making reparations.
A tweet later, he names the author he’s insulted, shows that he’s done some research, and says that instead of reading the book he saw in the bookstore and mocked (this one), he’ll read the first book in the series (this one). HE THEN TWEETS A PICTURE OF THE KINDLE RECEIPT SO WE’LL KNOW HE BOUGHT IT, DAWWW.
In a well-written romance it is super-gratifying when the eggplant meets the donut.
The author of Score and Slammed checks in!
That was amazing. I need a drink. (After I dispose of the metaphorical condom of apology analysis): He does ALL THE THINGS: Apologizes. Names the thing he did. Acknowledges the effect. Makes things right with the person/community he hurt. I’d argue that READING THE BOOK and live-tweeting it and modeling good Twitter behavior when you’re wrong about something is more than enough reparative justice. (Bonus that he loved it — I’m tickled that he demanded to know when another character was going to get her own book, a thing that actual regular romance readers do constantly.)
Compare this response to that of the New York Times Book Review (which, full disclosure, I write for, though not about romance), when it ran a profoundly offensive, snarky, ill-informed front-page review of a passel of romance novels by a famous literary old white man, then responded to romance readers objections with a condescending, sniffy, #sorrynotsorry “we don’t let FANS review BOOKS” that willfully failed to address letter-writers’ reasonable complaints of racism, sexism, and plain ol’ factual wrongness in the piece.
So yay! Paul Scheer!