The Transgression: The Hunger Games director omitted a key plotline from his cinematic adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ worldwide bestseller.
The Apology: He ‘fessed up during an interview with MTV, admitting “it was just that there was no room for that in the storytelling, unfortunately. The William Faulkner line is, 'You have to kill your darlings,' That was one that unfortunately fell by the wayside.”
What It Reveals: Ross’ consideration for die-hard devotees of the original series. Whatever alterations made to the source material, his decision to explain to the public was one he didn’t have to make.
The Transgression: The actress was alleged to have snubbed Valentino at the 2013 Oscars. Her long-standing relationship with the designer hung in the balance, as she opted last minute to walk the red carpet in... Prada.
The Apology: “It came to my attention late Saturday night that there would be a dress worn to the Oscars that is remarkably similar to the Valentino I had intended to wear. I decided it was best for all involved to change my plans. Though I love the dress I did wear, it was a difficult last-minute decision.
“I had so looked forward to wearing Valentino in honour of the deep and meaningful relationship I have enjoyed with the house and with Valentino himself," she said in a statement to People . "I deeply regret any disappointment caused.”
What It Reveals: Her alliance with Valentino is a cherished one, and her decision to don another designer’s togs was in no way an affront.
The Transgression: While co-hosting a recent NASCAR event, the Go actor blasted the tres petit Alyssa Milano... for being fat.
The Apology: An excerpt from a regretful blog entry he later posted to his website:
“Sometimes comedians go too far. I went too far. I cannot change what I said, but I can assure you that my heart is broken that I hurt her. I am very sorry.
It wasn't funny. Knowing that Alyssa, as well as her family, friends, fans, and especially her husband, heard things that were hurtful from my mouth crushed me. She has always been one of the kindest, most caring and beautiful people this town has ever seen.”
What It Reveals: Mohr knew he’d gone too far - and the sheer length of his sweet apology proves it was a case of comedy hit and miss.
The Transgression: In a discussion with Elle magazine concerning her invasion of privacy, the Twilight actress recalled what looking at photos of herself captured by the paparazzi evoked:
“I feel like I'm looking at someone being raped. A lot of the time I can't handle it.”
Not the most sensitive method of conveying the intrusion she experienced, rape crisis groups took to the ‘net to express their dismay at her comment.
The Apology: “I really made an enormous mistake - clearly and obviously,” Stewart told People . “And I'm really sorry about my choice of words. ... I've made stupid remarks before, and I've always reasoned: 'Whatever. They can think what they want.' 'Violated' definitely would have been a better way of expressing the thought. People thinking that I'm insensitive about this subject rips my guts out.”
What It Reveals: Even at a young age, her awareness concerning her own audacious remarks is fully realised.
The Transgression: The naughty in question here is none other than hulking blockbuster, Clash Of The Titans . Yes, the entire film.
The Apology: “I think the first one, we kind of let down some people....what we're setting out to do with this one,” he said in an interview with Moviefone , referring to the then-upcoming sequel. “The writers and the director and myself -- is improve. I think I can act f***ing better, to be honest ... Just take all the notes from people that I have been reading about on the 'net and give them a movie they f***ing want. This one I want to kind of try to satisfy a lot more people.”
What It Reveals: A genuine want to please the fans, and not merely cash in his pay check. His self-deprecating nature... well, we’re British so it’s definitely a winner.
The Transgression: The Safe Haven actress chose a controversial Halloween costume last year; “Crazy Eyes”, a fan favourite from Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black . She even went so far as to don the ill-advised “blackface.”
The Apology: “I am a huge fan of the show Orange is the New black, actress Uzo Aduba, and the character she has created. It certainly was never my intention to be disrespectful or demeaning to anyone in any way. I realize my costume hurt and offended people and I truly apologize.”
What It Reveals: Sounds to us like Hough, and many viewers of the Netflix series, became enraptured by Aduba’s performance - and wanted to merely pay homage.
The Transgression: Roads closures, traffic diversions and extended commute times for local residents occurred as a result of the Cleveland-based shoot for Captain America: The Winter Soldier .
The Apology: One of the film’s directors, Joe Russo visited a downtown watering hole, Treehouse, hopped onto the bar and bought a round of shots for the whole room. If that wasn’t enough, he spent over an hour hanging with fans afterwards.
What It Reveals: Compassion and tact towards the citizens of the city his production was uprooting. Settling the tab for an entire roomful of patrons, offering up his time to fans... it’s one of the most down-to-earth and coolest reparations on the list.
The Transgression: In the heat of the Writer’s Strike back in 2000, Scott’s production agency RSA USA placed an ad in Shoot , an advertising weekly. The one-page spread stated that director Marcus Nispel would be venturing to South Africa, far from the clutches of the Screen Actors Guild strike.
Accompanying the statement was a photo of a pair of wrinkly, aged breasts with the caption: “In South Africa, this is what SAG means.”
The Apology: “We knew absolutely nothing about this advertisement and are as upset, sickened and appalled by this situation as anyone else.''
What It Reveals: Scott atones for his company’s behaviour by lambasting RSA’s choice of advertisement - a valiant move for the director.
The Transgression : Star Trek Into Darkness ’ gratuitous shot of an undie-clad Alice Eve, as scripted by screenwriter Damon Lindelof.
The Apology: In a three-Tweet run:
“I copped to the fact that we should have done a better job of not being gratuitous in our representation of a barely clothed actress. We also had Kirk shirtless in underpants in both movies. Do not want to make light of something that some construe as mysogenistic. What I’m saying is I hear you, I take responsibility and will be more mindful in the future.”
What It Reveals: Lindelof’s sense of humour, awareness of a potential double standard and a willingness to listen and respond to his detractors in good faith.
The Transgression: Quentin Tarantino’s film blogger paramour, also known as Lianne Spiderbaby (as credited in Coffin Baby ), was thrown to the wolves after it was revealed she’d heavily plagiarised her blog posts from several prolific film writers.
The Apology: Moments before yanking down her Twitter account, she posted: “I apologise for the plagiarism in my work. I am leaving journalism behind for awhile. I'm so sorry to everyone esp those I've wronged.”
What It Reveals: The brief denunciation of her scribblings and subsequent withdrawal from journalism altogether indicates she shoulders the blame entirely - no shirking.
The Transgression: Delivering a speech at a presidential fundraiser in 2011, De Niro commented on the wives of President Obama’s running mates:
“Callista Gingrich. Karen Santorum. Ann Romney. Now do you really think our country is ready for a white first lady?” He then swiftly followed up with, “Too soon, right?”
The Apology: “My remarks, although spoken with satirical jest, were not meant to offend or embarrass anyone - especially the first lady.”
What It Reveals: He doesn’t mince his words or puff-up his apology, he gets straight to the heart of the matter.
The Transgression: A self-insinuated transgression, Hayes publicly came out to The Advocate back in 2010, twelve years after he hit it big with sitcom Will & Grace . According to Hayes, he felt he should have outed himself sooner.
The Apology: “I was so young. It made me go back in the closet... because I was so overwhelmed at 26 or 27. I didn't want the responsibility, I didn't know how to handle the responsibility of speaking for the gay community.
I always felt like I owed them a huge apology for coming out too late. Some people in the gay community were very upset with me for not coming out on their terms. They don't stop to think about what's going on in somebody's personal life, and the struggles that they're having. It was all very scary. We got death threats. It was a really rough time for me, but I was also having the time of my life.”
What It Reveals: Hayes’ decision to publicly out himself was a huge undertaking for the actor, who shows in his apology that he holds personal freedom in very high regard, as well as oodles of integrity for even offering up his concession.
The Transgression: The 1998 asteroid blockbuster, Armageddon .
The Apology: In a spot of banter with the Miami Herald :
“I will apologize for Armageddon, because we had to do the whole movie in 16 weeks. It was a massive undertaking. That was not fair to the movie. I would redo the entire third act if I could. But the studio literally took the movie away from us. It was terrible. My visual effects supervisor had a nervous breakdown, so I had to be in charge of that. I called James Cameron and asked ‘What do you do when you’re doing all the effects yourself?’ But the movie did fine.”
What It Reveals: An honest admission over the quality of Armageddon ’s last act. A rare and rather refreshing moment to witness, especially from a Hollywood heavy-hitter such as Bay.
The Transgression: During a 2004 fundraiser, Hanks fired an off-the-cuff quip at a school auction when a donor approached him wearing “blackface” and an afro - “Oh jeez … Ladies and gentlemen, a celebrity in our midst! Who would have thought that Bill O’Reilly would join us?”
The jibe implied that O’Reilly, a newscaster for Fox, was a racist.
The Apology: “I used Bill O’Reilly as the punch line of an uncomfortable joke that was hardly funny and was unfair,” Hanks admitted to news website The Daily Caller. “I have no reason to think Mr. O’Reilly would have found both the reason for the joke nor my use of it funny in any way.”
What It Reveals: Even Hollywood’s dependable everyman can have a lapse in judgement. Better still, he possesses the fortitude to make amends.
The Transgression: When TV sci-fi fantasy adventure Lost aired its finale, Lindelof came under fire from fans whose disappointment in the show’s big reveal left them feeling cheated.
The Apology: He initially ignored fan critque, until he was commissioned to review the final Harry Potter feature for The Daily Beast ... when he at last twigged:
“They should not have split the book into two halves. Order of the Phoenix had more pages and they did just fine with that one.
I felt dirty. I felt… taken advantage of. I know, I know, people in glass houses—but, still! My point is that I’m still a fan. A huge fan. Huge.
And so I sincerely and genuinely apologize to all those whom I have stripped of their Lostfandom just for complaining about the stuff you didn’t like. It doesn’t make you any less a fan. In fact…It just makes you honest. I respect that. And I’m genuinely sorry for ever feeling otherwise.”
What It Reveals: Lindelof’s sincerity and consideration to his ever-expanding fanbase. He could just have easily kept his admission to himself, but stepped up to the plate and graciously delivered it.
The Transgression: At a Q&A preceding a screening of the director’s upcoming caper Tower Heist , Ratner responsed to an audience member’s question with:
“Rehearsal? What’s that? Rehearsal’s for fags. Rehearsal. Not much. A lot of prep, preparation, complex action sequences, visual effects.”
The Apology: “I apologize for any offense my remarks caused. It was a dumb and outdated way of expressing myself. Everyone who knows me knows that I don’t have a prejudiced bone in my body. But as a storyteller I should have been much more thoughtful about the power of language and my choice of words.”
What It Reveals: Ratner demonstrated his culpability as a filmmaker in the public eye, and paid dues to his responsibility towards his audience.
The Transgression: In 2008 Busey interrupted Jennifer Garner and Laura Linney with a huge hug, right in the midst of their red carpet pre-Oscars interview with Ryan Seacrest.
The Apology: “I meant no disrespect to Ms. Jennifer Garner when I met her at the Oscars and apologize if I made her uncomfortable.
I simply greeted both actresses with joy and open arms, which is the way I would greet anyone I'm happy to meet. Everyone has experienced a handshake or hug which has turned awkward, and this was no different.”
What It Reveals: He’s only human, and rather considerate, as he explains that his overly-zealous method for greeting people might prove awkward for others.
The Transgression: An appearance on BBCs The One Show to promote A Good Day To Die Hard spiralled as evidenced by Willis’ curmudgeonly antics, his overall brusque nature and slating the title of his own movie.
The Apology: On the waves of London radio station XFM , Willis apologised: “I have to apologise...I didn't get very many compliments about it. They said it was a little stale. But I was so jetlagged. I'm very sorry, you kids on The One Show...I'm sure it's not their problem. I was a little bit boring, I think. I had a little sinking spell, that's all."
What It Reveals: His own liability towards the episode, placing the blame on himself and not the show.
The Transgression: An interview with GQ in 2011 planted Damon in hot water, as he trounced the writer of the Bourne films, Tony Gilroy for the Ultimatum script:
“I don't blame Tony for taking a boatload of money and handing in what he handed in. It’s just that it was unreadable. This is a career-ender. I mean, I could put this thing up on eBay and it would be game over for that dude. It's terrible. It's really embarrassing. He was having a go, basically, and he took his money and left.”
The Apology: Before the issue hit the shelves, Damon called up the reporter and clarified his earlier statements about Gilroy:
“If I didn't respect him and appreciate his talent, then I really wouldn't have cared. My feelings were hurt. That's all. And that's exactly why I shouldn’t have said anything. This is between me and him. So saying anything publicly is fucking stupid and unprofessional and just kind of douchey of me.”
What It Reveals: Coming across like a chap who knew he’d made a mistake, Damon expresses regret and in turn proves he’s only human - and his unwavering commitment to wanting the best for Bourne.
The Transgression: Before the acting, the directing and the first name, James Franco was a scrappy youth haunting the streets of Palo Alto, California called Ted. Idle hands indeed turned into the devil’s plaything as a teenage Franco totally egged someone’s house.
The Apology: In a letter found some twenty years after the event by CEO of men’s clothing line Bureau Of Trade, Michael Moskowitz. Who quickly posted it to his website.
“Dear Dr. Moskowitz,
First of all I will apologize once again for destroying your personal property. I did it out of carelessness not thinking that feelings might be hurt. And valuable time and money wasted. It will never enter my mind to do something like this ever again.
Thank you for being so gracious about this whole matter, and not having the police involved. It was very considerate of you, to do this for us after we were discourteous to you.
I am truly sorry. I hope we can just forget all this and put it behind us. I have learned my lesson.
What It Reveals: A miscreant reputation quickly cast asunder - Franco’s schoolboy letter pegs him as a total sweetheart.
The Transgression: In the midst of his acceptance speech for the Argo Best Picture Oscar, Affleck thanked his wife Jennifer Garner, “I want to thank you for working on marriage for ten Christmases. It’s good, it is work, but it’s the best kind of work, and there’s no one I’d rather work with.”
The speech opened up the actor to a torrent of backlash on why he’d make such a personal, slightly negative comment during a public announcement on the nature of his marriage.
The Apology: A few months on, Affleck hosted Saturday Night Live and took the time to explain his actions:
“While winning an Oscar was a huge thrill, giving an Oscar acceptance speech is completely terrifying. You may remember that in my speech I thanked my wife, while also saying that the essence of marriage is work. We work together on our marriage... some uncharitable souls on the internet took that to mean that our marriage is some kind of manual labour. That’s not it. You define what’s important to you by what you dedicate your time to.”
The actor brought his wife onstage who jokingly concurred with him, before Affleck gave his speech a do-over, reading from cue cards: “I couldn’t do any of the things I do without you, without your support. You’re my angel, my life, my world.”
What It Reveals: His complete readiness in making time to better explain his comments and being vulnerable in the public eye, so as to make his wife feel extraordinary.
The Transgression: 30 Rock alum, Alec Baldwin lashed out at reporter who’d printed a story on his wife’s texting during James Gandolfini’s funeral.
Baldwin tweeted: “I’d put my foot up your fucking ass, George Stark, but I’m sure you’d dig it too much. I’m gonna find you George Stark, you toxic little queen, and I’m gonna fuck you… up.”
The Apology: “My ill-advised attack on George Stark of the Daily Mail had absolutely nothing to do with issues of anyone’s sexual orientation. My anger was directed at Mr. Stark for blatantly lying and disseminating libelous information about my wife and her conduct at our friend’s funeral service. As someone who fights against homophobia, I apologize.
I have worked, periodically, with numerous marriage equality organizations, especially over the past couple of years, to achieve the very rights that gay couples are earning by recent court decisions. I would not advocate violence against someone for being gay and I hope that my friends at GLAAD and the gay community understand that my attack on Mr. Stark in no way was the result of homophobia.
Many Thanks, Alec Baldwin.”
What It Reveals: Baldwin holds himself accountable, goes to length to explain the intention behind his Tweets, and musters up a lot of sincerity. He doesn’t renege on what he said, stating only that he was genuinely upset at having hurt the gay community.
Matt Stone And Trey Parker
The Transgression: Creators of South Park , Matt Stone and Trey Parker, came under scrutiny when their Inception parody episode was revealed to have lifted most of its dialogue from an earlier skit on CollegeHumor.com by Dan Gurewitch and David Young entitled Inception Characters Don’t Get Inception .
The Apology: “It’s just because we do the show in six days, and we’re stupid and we just threw it together,” said Matt Stone. “But in the end, there are some lines that we had to call and apologize for.”
Turns out the comic duo were unable to catch a viewing of Inception themselves and took to the web for inspiration:
“We thought their joke was that a lot of those lines were actually in the movie, and they were banging them against each other, and showing that the ‘Inception’ characters didn’t even know ‘Inception.’ That was a mistake, and it was an honest mistake.”
What It Reveals: Their eagerness to hold their hands up and admit their minor inadvertent dabble with plagiarism is a commendable feat. For two such highly-prolific comics to come clean - when they could have claimed the exact opposite - makes them alright in our book.
The Transgression: A publicity stunt for his film I’m Not Here turned bizarre, when star Joaquin Phoenix appeared on The Late Show With David Letterman and... behaved rather oddly.
From behind his sunglasses and raggedy beard, the actor told his host he was quitting acting to embark on a rap career.
The Apology: “You've interviewed many, many people and I assumed that you would know the difference between a character and a real person, so - but I apologize," Phoenix said to Letterman two years later, "I hope I didn't offend you in any way."
We'd hoped to come on a talk show, and I was looking for a beat down, and I got one ... I want to thank you for that.”
What It Reveals: Phoenix’s commitment to craft is never restricted by the conventional! He put his reputation on the line for the sake of promoting a film - if that ain't for the love of the movies, then what is?
The Transgression: The actor, during an interview with Vanity Fair , made a distasteful comparison about the drudgery of a photo shoot: “Well, you just feel like you’re being raped somehow. Raped.... It feels like a kind of weird –- just weird.”
The Apology: “I am truly sorry for offending anyone in any way. I never meant to. It was a poor choice of words on my part in an effort to explain a feeling.
I understand there is no comparison and I am very regretful. In an effort to correct my lack of judgment, please accept my heartfelt apology."
What It Reveals: A self-effacing, contrite nature, ready to swiftly take the blame for a lapse in judgement.
The Transgression: Abrams’ habit of flooding a shot with light via his trademark lens flare has repeatedly caused heated furor amongst fans.
The Apology: Talking to CraveOnline , he said: “There are times when I'm working on a shot, I think, 'Oh this would be really cool ... with a lens flare.' But I know it's too much, and I apologize. I'm so aware of it now. I was showing my wife an early cut of 'Star Trek Into Darkness' and there was this one scene where she was literally like, 'I just can't see what's going on. I don't understand what that is.' I was like, 'Yeah, I went too nuts on this.’”
What It Reveals: The enthusiasm of a fanboy; an attribute sci-fi fans no doubt relish along with a warm-hearted candour over his giddy shooting practices.
The Transgression: The Snow White And The Huntsman director’s on-set affair with Snow White herself, Kristen Stewart.
The Apology: “I am utterly distraught about the pain I have caused my family. My beautiful wife and heavenly children are all I have in this world. I love them with all my heart. I am praying that we can get through this together."
What It Reveals: Sanders’ fling appears to have brought the director back to that which truly matters: his family.
The Transgression: On the heels of his earlier admission to wife Maria Shriver concerning his affair with their former housekeeper, Arnie confessed to also fathering her child... who was born five days after Shriver gave birth to her fourth with Schwarzenegger.
The Apology: His personal response to the L.A. Times :
“After leaving the governor's office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago. I understand and deserve the feelings of anger and disappointment among my friends and family. There are no excuses and I take full responsibility for the hurt I have caused. I have apologized to Maria, my children and my family. I am truly sorry.
I ask that the media respect my wife and children through this extremely difficult time. While I deserve your attention and criticism, my family does not. “
What It Reveals: His love for his family. Despite his indiscretion, their wellbeing is paramount to the actor, whose barefaced honesty asks for any backlash be directed at him.
The Transgression: Mindy Kaling Tweeted to fellow comics B.J. Novak and Lena Dunham concerning their Halloween costumes. Dunham responded with: “You guys go as killer Canadian couple Paul Bernardo & Karla Homolka. I'll be her sister they murdered. Scariest! Luv U”
The backlash began immediately.
The Apology: Spread out over several Tweets: “The boundaries of comedy are complicated and I'm learning twitter isn't the place to explain or even test them. I obviously don't find rape or murder funny, rather the concept of a trio of hapless people in poor taste halloween costumes.
Generally not a proponent of apologizing for one's work but that tweet wasn't my work-- it was as throwaway as most 140 character thoughts. Obviously didn't understand what a painful part of the Canadian identity the Bernardo/Homolka case was. Saw a TV movie w/ Laura Prepon. I don't mind creating debate with thoroughly considered artistic expressions but I don't want to offend with a tweet. Sorry Charlies.”
What It Reveals: The string of Tweets, all carefully considered responses, show the Girls creator full of compassion, the knowledge that Tweets are often off-the-cuff and a readiness to confess when she’s made a boo-boo.
The Transgression: Caught with his trousers down, Grant was arrested by Hollywood cops back in 1995 while engaged in an illicit act with prostitute Divine Brown.
The Apology: During a Jay Leno interview immediately after: “I think you know in life what’s a good thing to do and what’s a bad thing, and I did a bad thing. And there you have it.”
His mandatory commitments to the press circuit for Nine Months escorted him to Larry King’s show where he further added his antics were “dishonorable, shabby and goatish.”
What It Reveals: That he’s forthright, earnest and accepts that he probably shouldn’t have solicited a prostitute when Liz Hurley was waiting for him at home.
The Transgression: Thor: The Dark World director Alan Taylor spoke out towards the film’s mid-credits scene.
The brief scene; a traditional Marvel post-credits sequence, was shot by Guardians Of The Galaxy director James Gunn, and according to Taylor: “I am very happy not to take responsibility for that… but that sequence in the credits, I would say, is the only part of the movie where I’m happy to give the credit away…”
The Apology: Grilled by Moviereporter.de at a red carpet event, Taylor addressed statements inferring he spoke negatively of the scene:
“I hate that. He’s a director, and so am I. He’s also done brilliant work, he’s done Super, everything I’ve seen on Guardians Of The Galaxy looks GREAT and wonderful, so... I’m new to this process. I had jet lag, I was doing my 900th interview of the day so I really am sorry that it came out that way.”
What It Reveals: Taylor’s sincere response to his initial words prove his respect for fellow Marvel director Gunn along with a hands-up “Aw shucks....I was just pooped!” confession.
The Transgression: On location in England for his latest project, World War Two epic Fury starring Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf, Ayer apparently continued shooting on Remembrance Day.
According to tabloids, angered locals complained of hearing gunshots and seeing clusters of marching actors dressed in Nazi costumes; a disrespect to those who lost their lives.
The Apology: “My heartfelt apologies for any disrespect on Remembrance Day” the director Tweeted. “I am a veteran myself. It is an honour to film here in the U.K.”
He added that “We took Sunday off. And Remembrance Day on Monday. We respected ALL requests regarding our filming. God Bless.”
He further responded to several Tweets; “Yes, as a veteran it hurts that I have disappointed other veterans,” and “No disrespect intended. I am sorry for being insensitive. We had always planned to stop filming for a bagpipe ceremony tomorrow.”
What It Reveals: The director personally responded to all Tweets posted to his account, and went out of his way to apologise for the inaccurate reports in the press - an honourable chap with a deep affection for those who served.
The Transgression: The Razzie award-winning scientology flop - Battlefield Earth .
The Apology: Upon receipt of the Razzie Award for Worst Film Of The Decade, Battlefield screenwriter Shapiro guest-blogged a piece entitled “I penned the suckiest movie ever... sorry!” for The New York Post , which begins with:
“Let me start by apologizing to anyone who went to see Battlefield Earth .
It wasn’t as I intended — promise. No one sets out to make a train wreck. Actually, comparing it to a train wreck isn’t really fair to train wrecks, because people actually want to watch those.”
What It Reveals: This guy’s got chops! Funny, forthright and refreshingly open about his involvement in one of cinema’s biggest flops.
The Transgression: An interview with The Sunday Times to promote his role as Army Officer Sir Richard Burton in the 2008 film, The Victorian Sex Explorer , went awry.
Everett spun off into a rant about the grit of soldiers currently serving in the military - “they’re always whining about the dangers of being killed. Oh my God, they are such wimps now!”
The Apology: Days later he apologised to the “many in this country, and hundreds and thousands of others across the world who have lost their brothers and sisters, their fathers and mothers to the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and all the countless others...
I never meant at any point to question the bravery of those who lose their lives, or survive, but without arms or legs. Just seeing these people in my mind's eye right now makes me feel a terrible anguish.
I also talked flippantly about torture and our attitude towards it. I apologise.
However it seems to me that embracing war means accepting its underbelly as well, torture and the unspeakable violence that spirals from the battlefield to its surroundings. You cannot be politically correct in a war.
My flippant and irresponsible behaviour arises from a deep frustration at the fact that we seem to be continually making war, dreaming up new ones, instead of doing everything we can to avoid them. Again I apologise without reserve to anyone who has been insulted by my remarks.”
What It Reveals: A well-educated, cogent soul, with deep regret and consideration towards those serving in the military who holds himself entirely answerable for his comments.
The Transgression: In February 2011, the Guardians Of The Galaxy director posted an article; 50 Superheroes You’d Most Want To Sleep With to his blog.
A handful of debatably un-PC statements were contained within it, which upset fans.
The Apology: In addition to deleting the post, Gunn responded:
“A couple of years ago I wrote a blog that was meant to be satirical and funny. In rereading it over the past day I don't think it's funny. The attempted humor in the blog does not represent my actual feelings. However, I can see where statements were poorly worded and offensive to many. I'm sorry and regret making them at all.
People who are familiar with me as evidenced by my Facebook page and other mediums know that I'm an outspoken proponent for the rights of the gay and lesbian community, women and anyone who feels disenfranchised, and it kills me that some other outsider like myself, despite his or her gender or sexuality, might feel hurt or attacked by something I said. We're all in the same camp, and I want to do my best to make this world a better place for all of us. I'm learning all the time. I promise to be more careful with my words in the future. And I will do my best to be funnier as well. Much love to all.”
What It Reveals: The director’s mea culpa signifies Gunn’s genuine sincerity regarding the upset caused by his post, and the responsibility he has for maintaining beliefs which are upstanding. Sounds like a guy who’s able to admit his wrongdoings - even when they're accidental - and vow to do better. Well done, sir.
The Transgression: The writer of 1979s Oscar-winner Midnight Express , and its harsh embellishments of Turkish people.
The Apology: In 2004, with his feet on Turkish soil for the first time since the film wrapped, Stone told local reporters - “It’s true I over-dramatised the script. But the reality of Turkish prisons at the time was also referred to ... by various human rights associations for years.”
What It Reveals: A glimpse into the reasons his script angered the Turkish community - and clear, unfettered disclosure as to his role in the film’s controversy.
The Transgression: On the set of David O. Russell’s I Heart Huckabees , tempers frayed and Tomlin and Russell entered into a handful of sweary bust-ups.
The Apology: “I love David. There was a lot of pressure in making the movie, even the way the movie came out you could see it was a very kind of free-associative, crazy movie, and David was under a tremendous amount of pressure. He's a very kind of freeform guy, anyway. I never hold a grudge; I never feel bad about anything.”
What It Reveals: A veteran actor’s sense of diplomacy. Tomlin doesn’t shrug off the incident with a twee declaration or backtrack the behaviour, but sticks to the story with a retrospective calm attitude.
The Transgression: In a conversation with The Guardian discussing his phenomenal success with US TV series Homeland , Lewis acknowledged his early career fears:
“I would be one of these slightly over-the-top, fruity actors who would have an illustrious career on stage, but wouldn't start getting any kind of film work until I was 50 and then start playing wizards".
While he didn’t namedrop anyone specifically, Sir Ian McKellen responded to Lewis’ comments in the Radio Times: “So he feels sorry for me, does he? Well I'm very happy, he needn't worry about me.”
The Apology: “I am hugely embarrassed that comments of mine have been linked in a negative way to Sir Ian McKellen. I have always been, and continue to be, an enormous fan and admirer of Sir Ian's.
He's one of the greats and one of the reasons I became an actor. My comment in the Guardian was a soundbite I've been giving since 1999 – it was a generic analogy that was never intended to demean or describe anyone else's career. I have contacted Sir Ian McKellen and have given him my sincerest apologies.”
What It Reveals: A thoughtful, genuine nature - after all, he didn’t name McKellen yet deemed it paramount to reach out to his fellow thesp and apologise anyway.
The Transgression: Rumours of Stewart's fling with her Snow White And The Huntsman director Rupert Sanders sent legions of Robert Pattinson fans into flurries of righteous indignation when the infidelity was confirmed.
The Apology: The actress told People magazine: “I’m deeply sorry for the hurt and embarrassment I've caused to those close to me and everyone this has affected. This momentary indiscretion has jeopardized the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob. I love him, I love him, I'm so sorry.”
What It Reveals: The very fact of Stewart’s public apology, deemed by some pundits as unnecessary, demonstrates an inclination towards complete transparency with her fans.
The Transgression: While holding a Q & A with fans via Twitter, fielding a variety of questions (mostly grammar-related), a follower asked the comic; “Is this how you spell Lasonia?” to which he responded: “It depends. Are you in an African-American neighbourhood or an Italian restaurant?”
The Apology: The actor immediately deleted the Tweet, and apologised via a follow-up Tweet stating “I did apologize. But again, a second later I realised what an offensive thing I’d done. Deep bow.”
He then took to his website and offered a longer apology:
“I was riffing on Twitter, inviting people to ask me grammar questions. I replied with what I hoped were funny answers. For example, a person might write “What’s the difference between “then” and “than?” I would say, “then” is a conjunctive preposition, and “than” is a misspelling of “thank.” I have done similar things to this on other occasions, and there is a great spirit of fun between me and the Twitters followers.
I was going along fine when someone wrote, “Is this how you spell “lasonia?” I wrote: “It depends if you are in an African American neighborhood or an Italian restaurant.” I knew of the name Lasonia. I did not make it up, nor do I find it funny. So to me the answer was either Lasonia (with a capital), or Lasagna, depending on what you meant. That they sounded alike in this rare and particular context struck me as funny. That was the joke. When the tweet went out, I saw some negative comments and immediately deleted the tweet and apologized. I gathered the perception was that I was making fun of African American names. Later, thinking it over, I realized the tweet was irresponsible, and made a fuller apology on Twitter.”
What It Reveals: Martin’s personal explanation of the incident highlights the actor’s desire for transparency and total honesty with his dedicated followers via a considered response. He could have simply issued an impersonal statement without venturing into specifics.
The Transgression: On the set of Charlie’s Angels , in the midst of filming a scene Murray allegedly turned to Drew Barrymore and said “I get why you’re here...” then to Cameron Diaz “And you’ve got talent...” before saying to Liu “...but what in the hell are you doing here? You can’t act!”
The Apology: In the years following, Murray disclosed the real reason for the confusion - claiming script issues were to blame.
"We began rehearsing this scene and I said, 'Lucy, how can you want to say these lines? These are so crazy'. She got furious with me because she thought it was a personal assault, but the reality is she hated these lines as much as I did. But for 15 or 20 minutes there, we went to our separate corners and threw hand-grenades and sky rockets at each other.
We made peace and I got to know her better from that day, and I feel very warmly for her now.”
What It Reveals: Honesty. There’s definitely no whiff of press release about it, especially as he delves into the fact that there was bad feeling at the time of the incident. Well played, Mr. Murray.
The Transgression: In an interview with Men’s Health magazine, the actor passed comment on the events of 9/11 and how his presence aboard Flight 93 would’ve prevented any fatalities:
“If I was on that plane with my kids, it wouldn't have went down like it did. There would have been a lot of blood in that first class cabin and then me saying "OK, we're going to land somewhere safely, don't worry".'
The Apology: “To speculate about such a situation is ridiculous to begin with, and to suggest I would have done anything differently than the passengers on that plane was irresponsible. I deeply apologise to the families of the victims that my answer came off as insensitive, it was certainly not my intention.”
What It Reveals: That he’s got the cajones to hold himself culpable for discussing a matter of great public importance and making light of it.
The Transgression: The original Community showrunner, Harmon’s exit from the TV hit left him feeling a twinge of bitterness. Via his Harmontown podcast, he made a series of statements concerning the season following his departure:
“Apparently I'm quite a genius,” he at one point said, before adding that watching the fourth season was tantamount to “flipping through Instagram watching your girlfriend blow a million people.”
The Apology: Harmon’s detailed apology spawned an entire “apoloblog” on his website, in which he spoke to his fans:
“What I said was disrespectful to your love for this show, love that I sometimes erroneously equate with validation of me as a person. I am unwittingly and unfortunately infamous for the amount I care about your opinion.”
The crew and cast of the show: “It was dishonest to imply that something you worked on was as hard to watch as my family being assaulted... I wasn’t thinking about your contribution or describing it. I was just indulging my petty feelings about being left out. It seemed kind of funny at the time because it seemed at the time like I was the only person with feelings. Because my head was up my ass.”
And lastly, the writers: “I’m sorry I pooped on your work... you had to do something nobody should have to attempt, and you had the option of doing it the lazy way or the sellout way and you clearly did what you did because you were thinking of the fans.”
We’d recommend reading his outpour in its entirety - it’s worth it.
What It Reveals: Dan Harmon truly cares about Community , going to great length to belittle himself over the emotionally-charged comments he announced on his podcast.
In addressing every item of offence, he not only proves himself to be damn good writer, but also an educated guy with the ability to reflect on his wrongdoing with a stabbing prang of honesty.
The Transgression: In February 2013, the veteran comic took to Twitter to comment on the tragic Sandy Hook shooting, unleashing his universal opinion on gun owners:
“Any1 who would run out to buy an assault rifle after the Newtown massacre has very little left in their body or soul worth protecting. ;^\”
The Apology: Responding on Twitter once more, he told his 12 million followers:
“Asslt rifle fans,I do not agree with u,nor do I fear u but I do love u. I'm sorry tht in my outrage I called you names. That was wrong. Btw I don't need a crisis mgr, just a conscience. Calling ppl names is inappropriate but my position on assault weapons hasn't changed. ;^}”
What It Reveals: An unwavering integrity. He admitted to the name-calling but never reneged on his opinion.
The Transgression: Heading home after dinner, the petite actress and her husband were pulled over by the cops in Atlanta in 2013. She was subsequently arrested for disorderly conduct.
The Apology: During her appearance on Good Morning America for an interview following the incident, she apologised profusely:
“We thought we were fine to drive, and we absolutely were not, and it’s just completely unacceptable, and we are so sorry and embarrassed, and we know better, and we shouldn’t have done that.
We have to say when you make a mistake you take responsibility, and we are taking responsibility and doing everything in our power to make it right, and you just have to be honest with them, and that was definitely the hardest part.
I think I played a lawyer in a movie so many times, I think I am a lawyer. And clearly I am not a lawyer because I got arrested…so, I learned a lot.”
What It Reveals: A keen sense of responsibility, good humour and willingness to knock herself down a peg or two for her actions on live TV.
The Transgression: After being pulled over for drunk driving in 2006, Gibson’s arrest record noted that during the incident, the actor spewed out a diatribe insisting “Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.”
The Apology: “I want to apologize specifically to everyone in the Jewish community for the vitriolic and harmful words that I said to a law-enforcement officer the night I was arrested on a DUI charge.”
Followed by a second apology, which included his desire for a "one-on-one discussion [with Jewish leaders] to discern the appropriate path for healing.”
What It Reveals: A willingness to go to great lengths to mend bridges with the group he specifically offended - all under the watchful guise of the public sphere.
The Transgression: A four-minute profane rant from Bale while on the set of Terminator Salvation towards Director Of Photography Shane Hurlbut, for adjusting the lighting during a scene.
The Apology: Bale called in live to Los Angeles Radio station KROQ and chatted candidly with two DJs who’d been poking fun at the leaked recording of the actor. He offered a lengthy apology:
"I was out of order beyond belief. I was way out of order. I acted like a punk. I regret that. It's been a miserable week for me.
There is nobody who has heard that tape who has been hit harder than me. The one thing that disturbs me so much is that I've heard a lot of people saying that I seem to think that I'm better than anybody else.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. I am a lucky man, I never forget that and that is why I put so much into what I do, and why I care so much about it and why sometimes that enthusiasm just goes awry. I make no excuses for it. It is inexcusable.
Please, if anybody ever sees that I really am thinking that I'm better than anybody else, stick a fork in my backside, turn me over, I will be done. That is not me.
I know some people are thinking, 'I'm not going to see this movie' because they think I'm a prima donna. Everybody worked so hard on this movie. Please, don't allow my incredibly embarrassing meltdown to overshadow this movie and to have all of those people's hard work go to waste.
Finally addressing the KROQ hosts who’d made fun of him: “I also appreciate you making fun of it," he said. "I had it coming. Feel free to make fun of me at my expense. I deserve it completely.”
What It Reveals: Bale took his ego out of the equation, ate down a huge helping of humble pie and shared the aftermath of such a painful embarrassment live on air. This was definitely not your standard issue apology.
The actor held himself completely accountable, had a good sense of humour about his hothead ravings (even encouraging it from others) and ultimately revealed he’s human like the rest of us.
David O. Russell
The Transgression: In his January 2014 interview with The New York Daily News Confidenti@l column, the director spoke of his two-time collaborator Jennifer Lawrence’s punishing work schedule on The Hunger Games series:
“I personally think they should give her a bit of breathing room over there because they're printing money. I'll tell you what it is about that girl—talk about 12 years of slavery, that's what the franchise is. I’m going to get in so much trouble for saying it but being in The Hunger Games, they just keep her on a hamster wheel.”
The Apology: Addressing his earlier remarks, Russell told the Mail Online : “Clearly, I used a stupid analogy in a poor attempt at humor. I realized it the minute I said it and I am truly sorry.”
What It Reveals: Russell knew his knee-jerk comment was in poor taste, and his subsequent pride-swallowing indicated he’s capable of making a regretful slip of the tongue - and was unafraid to ‘fess up publicly.
The Transgression: Patter between Crowe and filmmaker Eli Roth in 2011 got out of hand with a Tweet from Crowe to the Cabin Fever director: "I love my Jewish friends, I love the apples and the honey and the funny little hats but stop cutting yr babies @eliroth.”
Roth’s amusing response, “You didn’t seem to be complaining when I was recutting you this afternoon...” was then followed-up with his own commentary on the backlash; “We are FRIENDS. Friends joke and tease each other. This is SICK.”
The Apology: Via Twitter: “This is a great forum for communication. Like any human I have my opinions and you all have yours, thank you for trusting me with them. I have a deep and abiding love for all people of all nationalities. I’m very sorry that I have said things on here that have caused distress. My personal beliefs aside I realize that some will interpret this debate as me mocking the rituals and traditions of others. I am very sorry."
What It Reveals: Crowe’s compassion for the misinterpretation of his comments - extending his hand to those he inadvertently offended.
The Aussie actor clearly took into account his fans’ reactions and paid his dues to those who mistook the jibes towards his friend for genuine opinion.
The Transgression: The actor’s directorial debut short film, Howard Cantour , hit Vimeo in December 2013 and was immediately denounced as being shamelessly plagiarised from a comic book by Ghost World scribe, Daniel Clowes.
The Apology: LeBeouf then began a long string of apology Tweets, including this initial one:
“Copying isn’t particularly creative work. Being inspired by someone else’s idea to produce something new and different IS creative work. In my excitement and naiveté as an amateur filmmaker, I got lost in the creative process and neglected to follow proper accreditation. I’m embarrassed that I failed to credit @danielclowes for his original graphic novella Justin M. Damiano, which served as my inspiration. I was truly moved by his piece of work & I knew that it would make a poignant & relevant short. I apologize to all who assumed I wrote it. I deeply regret the manner in which these events have unfolded and want @danielclowes to know that I have a great respect for his work. I fucked up.”
After fans discovered the opening sentences of that apology (and several of his other apology Tweets) were plagiarised from a Yahoo user - he took it up a step and paid a sky writer to scrub his soul clean by skywriting “I am sorry Daniel Clowes” over Los Angeles.
What It Reveals: While his continual insistence on borrowing from others does appear a trifle self-incriminating, his steadfast dedication to choosing the path of most resistance is all in the name of creative art.