24 of the All-Time Wildest Apologies From Celebs

24 of the All-Time Wildest Apologies From Celebs

Where does Colleen Ballinger’s recent "apology" rank among the most batshit celebrity & influencer apologies of all time? We're so glad you asked.

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Photo: Getty Images/YouTube

I still remember where I was when every middle schooler’s favorite YouTuber Colleen Ballinger (AKA “Miranda Sings”) addressed the grooming allegations against her via a YouTube video where she sang a semi-apologetic song on the ukulele. Yes, I remember where I was because it happened yesterday. But I truly believe Ballinger’s ukulele bit in which she sings, “I’m not a groomer, I’m just a loser,” will haunt me for the rest of my life.

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As I scrolled the video’s cesspool of comments, which included, “Boys buckle up we are witnessing internet history” and “This makes Travis Scott’s apology look like a masterpiece,” I got to thinking what we were probably all thinking: Where does Ballinger’s little performance piece rank among the most batshit celebrity (and micro-celebrity) apologies of all time?

Bad celebrity apologies are impossible to rank, because how do you compare Kanye West “apologizing” for anti-Semitism by saying he loves all people including Hitler to Becky G’s boyfriend apologizing for cheating on her by joining a mental health boot camp for cheaters? How do you compare Roseanne Barr blaming racist tweets on taking Ambien to YouTuber Shane Dawson’s earnest insistence that he’s never fucked his cat? You can’t!

But what you can do is pore through each of these astoundingly cringey gaffes and guffaw, laugh, or perhaps cry from a loss of faith in humanity. And that’s precisely what we did here.

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2 / 26

Travis Scott’s Astroworld Video Apology

Travis Scott’s Astroworld Video Apology

Travis Scott (Full Apology) SHARE

In November 2021, 10 people died at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival as a result of over-crowding—and, some have argued, Scott’s refusal to stop his performance even as audience members were being trampled. In response, Scott made a tepid Instagram video in which he attempts to perform the emotions of sympathy and regret and falls almost sociopathically short.

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“I just want to send out prayers to the ones that were lost last night, we’re actually working right now to identify the families so we can help assist them through this tough times,” he says while holding his face in a grainy, black-and-white video. “You know my fans, my fans really mean the world to me and I always just really want to leave them with a positive experience.” He adds, “I could just never imagine the severity of the situation.”

The video was dragged to hell on Twitter:

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3 / 26

Doja Cat Shrugs Off Calling People the F-Slur

Doja Cat Shrugs Off Calling People the F-Slur

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Photo: Getty Images, Twitter

Doja Cat is no stranger to controversies, from her history of fraternizing with white nationalists in chatrooms to her TikTok mocking Amber Heard for crying at her trial last year. And then, of course, there’s this little nugget: In 2018, three-year-old old tweets in which the singer throws around the F-slur were unearthed, prompting the singer to once again throw around the F-slur in a truly wild non-apology for the books.

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“I called a couple of people f——ts when I was in high school in 2015 does this mean I don’t deserve support?” she wrote on Twitter. “I’ve said f——t roughly 15 thousand times in my life. Does saying f—-t mean you hate gay people? Do I hate gay people? I don’t think I hate gay people. Gay is ok.”

She deleted and followed up this tweet with a slightly more acceptable apology, but the damage was already done.

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4 / 26

Ex-Papa John’s CEO in Therapy for Saying the N-Word

Ex-Papa John’s CEO in Therapy for Saying the N-Word

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In 2018, then-Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter was outed for saying the N-word on a company conference call. He eventually resigned, but instead of just taking his millions and disappearing into oblivion, Schnatter attempted reputational damage control—emphasis on attempted: In 2021, he went on Fox News and insisted that he’d spent the last 20 months in therapy “to get rid of this N-word in my vocabulary.” Good for you, I guess...?

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5 / 26

Tati Westbrook Apologizes to James Charles in the YouTuber Civil War of 2019

Tati Westbrook Apologizes to James Charles in the YouTuber Civil War of 2019

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Photo: Getty Images

As anyone who was sentient in 2019 knows, this one’s a long, sprawling saga, but I’ll try to make it short. In 2019, beauty guru Tati Westbrook—YouTuber James Charles’ mentor—excoriated and cut ties with Charles after he accepted a deal with a rival hair vitamin brand. In the video, Westbrook put Charles on blast for betraying her and also vaguely alluded to “disgusting” sexual behaviors from Charles (more on that later...).

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The following year, Westbrook returned to YouTube with one of the most bizarre apology videos in modern history, recanting all of her past claims and blaming her attack on Charles on being manipulated by Charles’ rival YouTubers, Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson (more on him later, too!).

“James, I am so sorry that I allowed myself to be poisoned and weaponized against you. I’m sorry that I bought into any of their lies,” Westbrook said through tears. “Believing those lies and allowing myself to be gaslit into making that video is one of the biggest regrets of my life.”

The video has sparked at least a dozen analysis videos and commentary from body language analysts, which I’ll let you look into on your own time.

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6 / 26

YouTuber Shane Dawson Denies Having Sex With His Cat

YouTuber Shane Dawson Denies Having Sex With His Cat

Image for article titled 24 of the All-Time Wildest Apologies From Celebs
Photo: Getty Images, Twitter

Yeah, 2019 was a wild one for YouTubers. I now give you: Cat-fuck-gate, presented by YouTuber Shane Dawson. I don’t actually know anything about Dawson other than this controversy, but here’s my best summary of it. In a 2015 voice memo leaked in 2019 (a couple of months before Westbrook first went after Charles), Dawson can be heard saying, “One time I laid my cat down on her back. I moved her little chicken legs spread open or whatever. I came all over the cat. It was like my first sexual experience. I was also like 19.”

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Dawson claimed the audio was part of a parody sketch he was working on at the time and put out the above apology. “i didnt fuck my cat. i didnt cum on my cat. i didnt put my dick anywhere near my cat. Ive never done anything weird with my cats. I promised myself i wasnt going to make apology videos after last years thing so im just trying to be as short and honest with this as possible,” he wrote in a tweet.

But to this day, many remain skeptical, and his bizarre tweet of denial continues to haunt my timeline every year on its anniversary.

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7 / 26

Roseann Barr Blames Racist Tweets on Ambien

Roseann Barr Blames Racist Tweets on Ambien

Image for article titled 24 of the All-Time Wildest Apologies From Celebs
Photo: Steven Ferdman (Getty Images)

A couple of weeks ago, I came off anesthesia and quite literally couldn’t stop talking about my dog with the nurses attending to me. So, I think I know a thing or two about how medication can make you say some shit—but that probably won’t include racism unless you’re just racist in general, unmedicated.

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That brings me to Roseann Barr, the conservative “comedian” who’s been saying a lot of stuff lately—and five years ago blamed a string of racist tweets on Ambien. At about 2 a.m., Barr tweeted that Valerie Jarrett, a former senior adviser in the Obama White House and a Black woman, is a product of the “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes.” She apologized in the morning and then followed up: “It was 2 in the morning and I was ambien tweeting — it was memorial day too — I went 2 far & do not want it defended.”

Barr was consequently, gloriously canceled, but she’s still, somehow, out here saying things—including just earlier this week denying the Holocaust.

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8 / 26

Terry Crews Asks Gabrielle Union For a #Reconciliation

Terry Crews Asks Gabrielle Union For a #Reconciliation

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In November 2019, Gabrielle Union left her co-hosting position at America’s Got Talent. Some reports alleged she was forced off the show for raising concerns about racism and toxic behaviors on set. Seemingly in response to these reports, her former co-host Terry Crews said in January 2020, “That was never my experience on America’s Got Talent. In fact, it was the most diverse place I have ever been in my 20 years of entertainment.”

Later that year, Union went on Jemele Hill’s Unbothered podcast and suggested his recent, disparaging comments about Black Lives Matter that summer reflected his lack of support for her on AGT: “Based on his recent actions, do you really think Terry Crews was an ally, was helpful, was a sounding board? ... Terry Crews is showing us who he is and what he does during times of adversity and it’s not solidarity.”

Crews then took the conflict to Twitter: “This will be my 3rd public apology to Gabrielle Union. If a 4th is needed, I will continue to apologize,” he wrote, adding, “#reconciliation.”

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9 / 26

Bachelor Nation’s Victoria Fuller Apologizes for ‘White Lives Matter’ Apparel

Bachelor Nation’s Victoria Fuller Apologizes for ‘White Lives Matter’ Apparel

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Screenshot: MarlinLivesMatter.com, Instagram

In 2019, while starring on Peter Weber’s season of The Bachelor, previous photos of contestant Victoria Fuller modeling apparel that says “White Lives Matter” (in reference to whales) resurfaced. This prompted one of the most awkward apologies for a racist gaffe that I’ve ever seen in the (very) storied history of such apologies within Bachelor Nation.

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“I would like to sincerely apologize for my involvement with We Love Marlins,” Fuller wrote. “My intention was only to support an endangered species.” The rest of the statement (screenshotted above) is pretty run-of-the-mill. But I just can’t stop sad-laughing at how casual racism could ever be justified by environmental activism.

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10 / 26

Mario Batali Attaches Holiday Recipe to Statement on Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Mario Batali Attaches Holiday Recipe to Statement on Sexual Misconduct Allegations

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Photo: Getty Images, Twitter

In December 2017, at the advent of the MeToo movement’s entrance into the mainstream, celebrity chef Mario Batali was fired from ABC’s The Chew after multiple reports that he’d groped and made inappropriate sexual comments to four women. In response, Batali shared a, err, half-baked semi-apology. But none of his words really mattered, because at the end of the “apology,” he casually plugged his recipe for a holiday dessert: “in case you’re searching for a holiday-inspired breakfast, these Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls are a fan favorite,” he wrote.

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As a matter of fact, I am searching for a holiday-inspired breakfast—but not from a self-admitted sex pest, thank you very much.

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11 / 26

James Corden vs. Balthazar

James Corden vs. Balthazar

Image for article titled 24 of the All-Time Wildest Apologies From Celebs
Screenshot: @keithmcnallynyc/Instagram

Last fall, elite New York City restauranteur Keith McNally excoriated self-identified comedian James Corden for allegedly being the rudest customer at Balthazar. McNally declared that Corden was banned from his restaurant for alleged mistreatment of restaurant servers. “James Corden is a Hugely gifted comedian,” McNally wrote in an Instagram post, “but a tiny Cretin of a man. And the most abusive customer to my Balthazar servers since the restaurant opened 25 years ago.”

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Corden ultimately apologized, conceding that while he “didn’t shout or scream,” he’d “made a rude comment” and “was ungracious to the server.” He was then welcomed back to the restaurant, only to later very pettily call the entire drama “beneath him”—which actually sounds exactly like what “a tiny Cretin of a man” would say!

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12 / 26

Vanessa Hudgens Blames Anti-Quarantine Comments on Quarantine

Vanessa Hudgens Blames Anti-Quarantine Comments on Quarantine

Vanessa Hudgens Sparks OUTRAGE Over Pandemic Comments

In an Instagram Live at the onset of the covid pandemic in 2020, Vanessa Hudgens took a page from Marvel’s supervillain Thanos and shrugged off the devastating reality of people dying from the pandemic as merely “inevitable.”

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“It’s a virus, I get it. Like, I respect it,” Hudgens said. “But at the same time, like, even if everybody gets it, like, yeah, people are gonna die, which is terrible but, like, inevitable?”

Shortly after the video sparked predictable, justified controversy, Hudgens apologized—and seemingly blamed being quarantined for her insensitive comments about quarantine: “It’s a crazy time. It’s a crazy, crazy time and I am at home and in lockdown, and I hope that’s what you guys are doing too, in full quarantine and staying safe and sane. Yeah, don’t take this situation lightly—by any means.”

Sure, we all went a little nuts being cooped up in our homes. But you could just as easily have baked a loaf of sourdough instead of publicly shrugging off mass death, Vanessa.

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13 / 26

Mark Wahlberg Laments Struggle of Not Committing Hate Crimes Anymore

Mark Wahlberg Laments Struggle of Not Committing Hate Crimes Anymore

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Photo: Dia Dipasupil (Getty Images)

In the 1980s, Mark Wahlberg faced criminal charges for several racist attacks, including stoning and yelling slurs at Black kids and assaulting a Vietnamese man. Wahlberg was sentenced to two years in prison for felony assault but served just 45 days behind bars.

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After his acting career took off and his past caught up with him, Wahlberg addressed the attacks in an interview with The Guardian in 2020, chalking up his racist actions as the influence of a “gang” he was in at the time. He claimed that distancing himself from the gang “made it 10 times more difficult to walk from my home to the train station, to go to school, to go to work.” In other words, no longer committing hate crimes was pretty hard for the dude.

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14 / 26

James Charles’ April Fools Day Apology

James Charles’ April Fools Day Apology

holding myself accountable (WITH BETTER AUDIO)

Remember when I said we’d circle back to Charles and, specifically, Westbrook’s mysterious allusion to his “disgusting” sexual behaviors? Well, here we are! In the spring of 2021, Charles faced a string of allegations that he groomed and sexually preyed on underage boys—all of this, mind you, after in 2019, a straight waiter said Charles sexually harassed him after the two kissed, even after the waiter later insisted to Charles that he was straight.

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In response, Charles dropped an apology video on—you guessed it!—April Fool’s Day! The video has since been deleted, but the internet is forever, so here’s a reposted version of it above. If you’re interested in what he actually says, have at it; but I, personally, can take away everything I need to know from the fact that this was posted on April-fucking-Fool’s-Day.

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15 / 26

Gina Rodriguez’s Non-Apology for Saying the N-word

Gina Rodriguez’s Non-Apology for Saying the N-word

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Photo: Getty Images

In 2019, Gina Rodriguez took to Instagram Live (her first mistake, considering Instagram Live is the source of half of these celebrity gaffes) to share herself getting glammed up while listening to music. As she rap-sings along, Rodriguez just casually drops the N-word, and then just keeps... going.

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Following a wave of backlash, Rodriguez shared a pretty standard Notes app apology included above. Most of it is what you’d expect, but “I feel so deeply protective of and responsible to the community of color.” Ah. Thank you for your protection, Gina<3

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16 / 26

Gal Gadot Addresses “Imagine” Video Gaffe

Gal Gadot Addresses “Imagine” Video Gaffe

Gal Gadot singing Imagine with other stars

In March 2020, while we were all hunkered down in cramped apartments or smushed together in single-family homes, celebrities with enormous mansions took it upon themselves to comfort us all with the assurance that lockdown—even in the face of mass death—could actually be great. Led by Gal Gadot, a bunch of very rich people including Jimmy Fallon, Zoe Kravitz, Kaia Gerber, and Will Ferrell sang along to “Imagine”—a song widely believed to have been about communism—from their homes.

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It wasn’t until two years later that Gadot acknowledged that the video was “in poor taste.” Ya don’t say...

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17 / 26

Kesha Apologizes for “Die Young” Track After Sandy Hook Massacre

Kesha Apologizes for “Die Young” Track After Sandy Hook Massacre

Ke$ha - Die Young (Official)

In the wake of the Sandy Hook mass shooting at an elementary school in 2012, radio stations pulled Kesha’s then-popular song “Die Young” from the airwaves. This prompted the singer to appear to apologize not just for her song playing during a national tragedy, but for the song as a whole, which she claimed she didn’t even want to sing: “I understand. I had my very own issue with ‘die young’ for this reason. I did NOT want to sing those lyrics and I was FORCED TO,” she wrote in a tweet that was later deleted.

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In a follow-up, more straight-forward tweet, the singer wrote: “I’m so so so sorry for anyone who has been effected by this tragedy.and I understand why my song is now inappropriate. words cannot express.”

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18 / 26

Becky G’s Boyfriend Goes to Boot Camp for Cheaters

Becky G’s Boyfriend Goes to Boot Camp for Cheaters

Image for article titled 24 of the All-Time Wildest Apologies From Celebs
Photo: Karwai Tang (Getty Images)

In March, Becky G’s fiancé and partner of years, soccer player Sebastian Lletget, was accused of cheating and responded with one of the wildest post-cheating apology statements I’ve ever seen from a male celebrity. And, as Jezebel readers surely know, there have been many.

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In his word salad about “[holding] myself to a higher standard,” Lletget framed the cheating allegations as “an extortion plot” stemming from a mysterious “10-minute lapse in judgment.” He followed that up with this whopper: “I have decided to commit myself to a mental wellness program to work on the parts of me that deeply need healing.” A mental wellness program for cheating, huh? I hope he, Adam Levine, Gerard Piqué, and that one Try Guys bro have a lovely time there.

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19 / 26

Try Guys’ Ned Fulmer Barely Apologizes to Wife For Cheating

Try Guys’ Ned Fulmer Barely Apologizes to Wife For Cheating

The Try Guys, who kicked out Ned Fulmer last year, from left to right: Eugene Lee Yang, Fulmer, Keith Habersberger, and Zach Kornfield
The Try Guys, who kicked out Ned Fulmer last year, from left to right: Eugene Lee Yang, Fulmer, Keith Habersberger, and Zach Kornfield
Photo: Getty Images

Speaking of batshit apologies for celebrity cheating scandals, I give you Ned Fulmer of former Try Guys fame—the YouTuber and once-proud Wife Guy™ who briefly blew up Twitter in October by cheating on his wife and breaking up his circle of elite YouTubers.

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The worst part of it all was the cheating, obviously, but the second worst part was that his wife only received passing acknowledgment in an insane apology statement primarily dedicated to his fans and his bros. “Family should have always been my priority, but I lost my focus and had a consensual workplace relationship,” he wrote. “I’m sorry for any pain that my actions may have caused the guys and the fans but most of all to Ariel. The only thing that matters right now is my marriage and my children, and that’s where I am going to focus my attention.” Fucking yikes.

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20 / 26

Justin Timberlake’s Years-Late Apology to Janet Jackson

Justin Timberlake’s Years-Late Apology to Janet Jackson

Image for article titled 24 of the All-Time Wildest Apologies From Celebs
Photo: J. Shearer (Getty Images)

In 2004, Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson performed at the Super Bowl together, and one of their duets ended with Timberlake tearing away more of her costume than the two had planned—ultimately revealing her uncovered breast on live television. The awful, violating act was widely written off as a joke at the time.

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Years later, backlash against Timberlake for his past misogyny reached a fever pitch after a 2021 documentary on Timberlake’s ex, Britney Spears, brought renewed attention to how he’d treated Spears. Finally, in February 2021, Timberlake offered a long-overdue apology to both Spears and Jackson: “I am deeply sorry for the times in my life where my actions contributed to the problem, where I spoke out of turn, or did not speak up for what was right.” He continued, “I specifically want to apologize to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually, because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed.”

But what were any of us—let alone Jackson and Spears—supposed to do with a lukewarm apology that came two decades too late?

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21 / 26

Matthew Perry Regrets Wishing Keanu Reeves Would Die

Matthew Perry Regrets Wishing Keanu Reeves Would Die

Image for article titled 24 of the All-Time Wildest Apologies From Celebs
Photo: Getty Images

In October 2021, the release of Matthew Perry’s memoir was marred by Perry’s own obsession—well documented within its pages—with wishing Keanu Reeves dead. Seemingly every excerpt released to the public included some sort of stray death wish aimed at the widely beloved John Wick star.

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“Why is it that the original thinkers like River Phoenix and Heath Ledger die, but Keanu Reeves still walks among us?” he muses at one point in the book. Another incident: “I punched a hole through Jennifer Aniston’s dressing room wall when I found out,” he wrote of his reaction to Chris Farley’s death. “Keanu Reeves walks among us.”

After Perry’s morbid fascination with Reeves was appropriately dragged by the internet, he finally declared to the world, “I’m actually a big fan of Keanu. I just chose a random name, my mistake. I apologize. I should have used my own name instead.” Yeah, you really should have.

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22 / 26

Kanye West Digs Self Deeper Into Anti-Semitic Hole

Kanye West Digs Self Deeper Into Anti-Semitic Hole

Hooded Kanye West praises Nazis during Alex Jones interview: ‘I see good things about Hitler’|NYPost

Last fall, Ye (the rapper formerly known as Kanye West) made a string of violently anti-Semitic comments that are frankly too disgusting to repeat here. And given the chance to set the record straight on white nationalist conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ show in December, Ye went in a different direction. He insisted that he “[loves] everyone,” and that means “I see good things about Hitler also.” There’s not a Notes app apology in the world that can undo that shit.

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23 / 26

TikToker Sienna Mae Gomez’s Interpretive Dance Apology

TikToker Sienna Mae Gomez’s Interpretive Dance Apology

Sienna maes “apology” and why does she dance like that

Last January, popular TikToker Sienna May Gomez responded to allegations from another TikToker, Jack Wright, that she’d sexually assaulted him in his sleep, by making an interpretive dance apology video. I wish I could say I’m making this one up, but alas, the video itself is above. Ukulele girl’s lookin’ pretty sane now, huh? (Kidding. They’re all insane.)

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24 / 26

Chet Hanks’ Cultural Appropriation Non-Apology

Chet Hanks’ Cultural Appropriation Non-Apology

‘Ziwe Asks Chet Hanks About His Jamaican Accent’ Ep. 2 Official Clip | ZIWE | SHOWTIME

Chet Hanks—who is, somehow, inexplicably Tom Hanks’ son—went on a bender in 2021 that started with him coining the term “white boy summer” and vocally fetishizing Black women, and ended with abuse allegations and (correct!) accusations of cultural appropriation. For whatever reason, the man then went on Ziwe’s talk show in May 2022, unknowingly entirely out of his depth.

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“Are there any marginalized communities you want to apologize to?” Ziwe asked Hanks, after confronting him about his fake Jamaican accent.

“I don’t know, maybe the [Jamaican] Patois community?” Hanks shrugged. He ultimately declined the invitation, saying: “Nah, I don’t feel like I’ve truly done anything offensive, so I don’t.” He doesn’t “feel” he’s done anything offensive, so I guess that settles that!

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25 / 26

Twenty One Pilots’ Tyler Joseph’s Laughs Off Criticism For Not Talking About BLM

Twenty One Pilots’ Tyler Joseph’s Laughs Off Criticism For Not Talking About BLM

Image for article titled 24 of the All-Time Wildest Apologies From Celebs
Screenshot: Twitter

In the spring of 2020, as stars clamored to speak out against anti-Black racism in the aftermath of the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, it was fairly noticeable when anyone was quiet. Faced with pressure to “use his platform” to speak up about racism and police violence, Tyler Joseph of Twenty One Pilots severely misread the room and made a little ~joke~, screenshotted above. “you guys keep asking me to use my platforms. feels good to dust these bad boys off,” Joseph wrote in a tweet of himself wearing very chunky shoes.

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In the face of more backlash, Joseph doubled down, calling his joke a “perfect tweet.” And then, finally, after more backlash, he managed this: “im truly sorry if it hurt anyone. here is a link with a lot of great info that i stand by,” attaching a link to Black Lives Matter educational resources. As the old adage goes, if at first you don’t succeed (at apologizing for racism), try, try, try again, further humiliating yourself each time.

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