What do Serena Williams, Manny Ramirez, Mark Sanford, and Kanye West have in common? Unless you have been living under a rock you probably guessed (correctly) that all have I one way or the other embarrassed themselves and their fans. All of them also engineered an ‘apology’ of sorts.
Here in the United States we live in the land of second (ok maybe third and fourth) chances. I actually do feel that second chances are often worthwhile since people make mistakes. Honest ones often.
But is it my imagination or do I sense a strategic shift by those who commit egregious and stupid acts? Almost as if when one makes a terrible decision, or acts rashly and unthinkably, even violently, that all a celebrity needs to do is issue a seemingly heartfelt apology and most people will issue a free pass. After all it seems to me that what Americans like more than a second chance is a good comeback story.
And I have nothing against Serena, Manny, and Kanye and have appreciation and respect for their individual talents. I don’t know enough about Mr. Sanford and that’s actually just fine with me. But I am not buying their apologies. To me they all smack of insincerity and positioning. Ask yourself the following: will their behavior change at all in the future? If not (and that’s my position) then their ‘apologies’ are nothing more than a weak marketing statement to engender some positive reactions from their fans and followers.
But insincere marketing is the absolute worst marketing of all. It does not work in the long run and maybe not even in the short run.
What bothers me the most is that too many people actually buy this garbage? It should take less than the actions of a Bernie Madoff to create public outrage. Nobody seems to be buying his apology. Why should the others get a free pass?