There’s been a new trend sweeping Hollywood, and it’s called “apologizing.”
Literally, all famous people do anymore is say or do careless offensive stuff, face an arsenal of Internet backlash, and then apologize for it.
Just this week alone, we have Pharrell Williams' Native American headdress faux pas, Jonah Hill’s gay slur, and Justin Bieber’s adolescent racism. So many celebs are doing offensive things and then having to apologize for it. Pardon us for being super dramatic for a second, but it’s basically an epidemic.
Either America is getting more sensitive, or celebrities are being more offensive these days. We honestly don’t remember having to report on this many apology statements until now.
Here's a quick refresher on the (recent) history of celebs apologizing for offending people.
June 2010: Kristen Stewart compares being photographed by the paparazzi to being raped. She swiftly apologizes.
November 2012: Gwen Stefani wears Native American gear for her “Looking Hot” music video. She immediately pulls down the video and releases an apology statement to “anyone offended by this video.”
November 2012: Victoria’s Secret drapes its models in Native American headdresses, and later says, “we sincerely apologize as we absolutely had no intention to offend anyone.”
October 2013: Julianne Hough wears blackface as a part of her “Orange Is the New Black” Halloween costume. Apologizes for it.
May 2014: a video of Justin Bieber making racial slurs and offensive jokes hits the web. Justin Bieber apologizes for his “reckless and immature” racial humor.
May 2014: Jonah Hill lashes out at the paparazzi with a gay slur, then goes on both Howard Stern AND "The Today Show" to apologize for his poor choice of words.
May 2014: Pharrell wears a Native American headdress on the cover of Elle magazine and immediately says he’s sorry.
So, what do we take away from this besides the fact that celebrities should probably start issuing apologies upfront if they absolutely must continue to wear Native American headdresses…
Maybe we should consider the celebs who offended the masses but DIDN'T apologize for it. Do they OWE us an apology? Do they HAVE to? Does it even matter?
Katy Perry was heavily criticized for what she considered a “Geisha-inspired” performance at the American Music Awards. She didn't apologize, even though many people were offended by what she considered an “homage.”
Avril Lavigne was also bashed for her “Hello Kitty” music video, which many believed mocked Japanese culture. When the public demanded an apology, she gave them none and instead tweeted, “RACIST??? LOLOLOL!!! I love Japanese culture and spend half of my time in Japan. I flew to Tokyo to shoot this video specifically for my Japanese fans, with my Japanese label, Japanese choreographers and a Japanese director in Japan.”
Stephen Colbert’s social media team sent out a tweet that a lot of people found offensive to the Asian community. Stephen did NOT apologize, and a couple of months later he was named David Letterman’s replacement on “Late Show.”
So clearly, celebs can STILL prosper after they refuse to apologize for a highly publicized “offensive scandal.”
So for the stars who DO apologize, who are they apologizing TO? And who are we REALLY mad at if we don’t care when some celebs DON’T apologize?
The fact that the celebs who DON’T apologize get to continue with their life uninterrupted suggests that the apology doesn’t really matter. The Internet seems to be more concerned with “being offended” than righting something they deem wrong. Are we pointing out celebrity error with the hopes that the offending star has learned something and can right their wrong and move forward with their life in a more politically, culturally, and racially tolerant manner? Or are we just pointing out bad things when we see them and then moving on to the next celebrity who's clueless enough to still put on a Native American headdress?