Category Archives: Apologies

Apology Atrophy?

A recent column in the New York Times by Jessica Bennett (“Hes’s Sorry, She’s Sorry, Everybody is Sorry. Does it Matter?“) notes that public apologies just don’t seem to be making us feel better these days. Where ten years ago the public apology seemed like sufficient punishment to restore the offender to society, now it […]

Good advice on how to say sorry

I often blog about public apologies–the Washington Post’s list of top ten celebrity apologies for 2021 is a treasure trove–, but what we really all need help with are private apologies, the ones we need to make to friends and colleagues as we go through life. A podcast on NPR, “Life Kit: How to say […]

Apology Makes Things Worse

Here’s an example of an offender’s well-meaning apology just making matters worse. Professor Bright Sheng, a long-time professor of music and composition at the University of Michigan, is teaching an undergrad composition seminar on Shakespeare this semester, and on September 10 he showed the 1965 film “Othello,” in which Laurence Olivier appears in blackface. As […]

Sha’Carri Richardson Apology on Live TV

The apology from athlete Sha’Carri Richardson on the Today show last week offers a glimpse into how hard it is to give a good live unscripted public apology. Richardson was banned from competing in this year’s Olympics in her signature event, the 100-meter dash, because she used marijuana before the qualifying event in Oregon last […]

Bishop’s Apology Doesn’t Meet Basic Conditions

The former bishop of the Wheeling-Charleston West Virginia Diocese issued an apology last month for misconduct that occurred while he was bishop. After Pope Francis accepted Bishop Michael J. Bransfield’s resignation in 2018, the Vatican investigated allegations that he had spent millions on personal extravagances and gifts to fellow clerics, and that he harassed seminarians […]

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