Berkeley and the London Business School recently teamed up to discover that for CEOs, posting apology videos to YouTube is not a smart public relations move. By analyzing stock prices surrounding public incidents like the BP oil spill and then the resulting CEO apology, it has been determined that most apologies just make things worse for the company. But that doesn’t mean the apologies don’t happen. In fact, as of late, we’ve seen a fantastic amount of quality apology videos — some from major celebs. And almost all of them are fairly recent. It’s like no one apologized before 1995.
But since then, we’ve had Reed Hastings apologize for raising Netflix’s prices, that Japanese pop star who shaved her hair off because she got caught spending the night at a boy’s house and even Kobe shaming himself publicly for boning that chick out in Colorado.
None of those instances though quite have the cache, insincerity or awkwardness of these five videos — the five most infamous apology videos on YouTube.
5. Paula Deen Gets Popped For The “N-Word”
Trumped only by Chris Brown in apology videos that seem like a complete and utter PR tactic, Deen’s video with its cuts and splices looks like the little Georgia woman spent too much time in the tanning bed. Of course I believe that we (and I use that term loosely) were a little harsh on the old lady — she was outed by a former staff member, and not for using the term directly at African-Americans nor caught saying it on TV. And she didn’t even try to lie about it. Man, in this country, if you are honest we punish you; if you lie, we punish you; if you get off the hook for murdering your ex-wife and a waiter and then commit armed robbery in Las Vegas, we punish you …
4. Kid “Apologizes” To 4chan, Earns Wrath of Mother
Goddamn, did you see that Mel Gibson movie “Ransom”? This kid’s YouTube “apology” for talking shit on 4chan is sort of like that movie — in that you think the kid is going to apologize, but then he full-on declares war on 4chan instead. Fuuuuuuck. This kid has sort of balls, and you can’t help but admire him … up until the point when his mom bursts into the room and chews his ass out for making videos. Especially because he admits early on that he is not supposed to be using the computer. For bonus laughs, note the kid’s uncertainty for silent letters and the added pronunciation he puts on “Moot” Poole’s last name. This whole thing is an understated classic.
3. Chris Brown Gives Weak Apology For Beating Rihanna
There probably isn’t an apology I want to hear less than this one from a clearly insincere Chris Brown apologizing for busting up Rihanna’s face back in the day. Reading off a teleprompter (or a dwarf holding up oversized note cards, I suppose) Chris Brown looks bored, lazy and annoyed at having to say I’m sorry to the nation. And, in a sense, he’s right to be annoyed. We’ve become a nation hell-bent on public contrition. Even though the only one he should have apologized to was Rihanna, for some reason this need to make a plea for national absolution became a thing (still is, I guess). I didn’t need it, want it or believe it back then and I certainly don’t now.