We're guessing Maura Kelly received a lot of emails like this one. Among other things, the reader wrote,
I am shocked and saddened by your blog post on 'Fatties' published this weak. Your apology was weak and your excuses were weaker. I beg you to do something, anything to make this right. Your followers deserve better and the readers of Marie Claire deserve better.
Given the volume we're sure she was facing — and the magazine's virtual silence on the subject — Kelly could easily have ignored the email. Instead, this is what she wrote.
I'm really sorry I hurt your feelings. I would never laugh at anyone, never ask anyone to leave a room or make them so uncomfortable that they felt like they had. Marie Claire didn't ask me to apologize—I felt very strongly about doing it myself because I feel really sad that so many people took what I said so personally. I truly never imagined they would.
Again, I truly apologize.
Does it undo the pain of the original piece? No. Did people "take what she said personally" or just, well, read a deeply offensive piece? In any case, it's good to see someone taking some responsibility — especially when her editors, arguably equally culpable, seem to have effectively abdicated theirs. This is a flat-out apology, and that should never be dismissed. Now, if only her employers would follow her example, a lot of readers would feel like their opinions were heard and valued.
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