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Celebrity Apologies: Why do we forgive?

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Nicole Bishop

on 23 September 2013

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Transcript of Celebrity Apologies: Why do we forgive?

Celebrity Apologies:
Why do we forgive?

Usher & Schuh (2010)
Celebrities have an “ethical obligation to issue media disseminated public apologies for ethical violations”
Ethical Theory
Hearit and Borden's 'public apologia' model
Case Studies
Criticisms
Deontological theory not applied to individual case studies
Hearit and Borden’s apology model isn’t tested on different scenarios
Public apology model is subjective
Failure to define 'unethical behavior'
Virtue ethics is not applied

Nicole Bishop, Grace Gannon & Erin Neil
Teleological Theory
Deontological Theory
The consequences or outcomes of an action
Moral duties or rules-based ethics
Celebrities have an "ethical obligation to maximize the potential for positive consequences and minimize the potential for negative consequences"
"Ethical behavior should be universally applicable" - everyone, including celebrities, must refrain from expressing discriminatory remarks
1. Address the offended and stakeholders
2. Be performed in an appropriate context (public/private)
3. Be delivered in a manner that is truthful, sincere, timely and voluntary
4. Explicitly acknowledge and accept responsibility for any offense
5. Express regret and empathy for the offended
6. Seek forgiveness from and reconciliation with the offended
7. Fully disclose information about the offense, including, as applicable,
any explanation (not with the intent to defend the offense)
8. Offer appropriate corrective action/compensation (not
necessarily financial)

1. Deontological theory is not applied to case studies
2. Public apology model is not tested on incidents that do not involve derogatory statements
Some actions are just the right kind of actions, while others are inherently wrong
Usher and Schuh's analysis
1. Address the offended and stakeholders
2. Be performed in an appropriate context (public/private)
3. Be delivered in a manner that is truthful, sincere, timely and voluntary
4. Explicitly acknowledge and accept responsibility for any offense
5. Express regret and empathy for the offended
6. Seek forgiveness from and reconciliation with the offended
7. Fully disclose information about the offense, including, as applicable, any explanation (not with the intent to defend the offense)
8. Offer appropriate corrective action/compensation (not necessarily financial)

Our Analysis
1. Address the offended and stakeholders
2. Be performed in an appropriate context (public/private)
3. Be delivered in a manner that is truthful, sincere, timely and voluntary
4. Explicitly acknowledge and accept responsibility for any offense
5. Express regret and empathy for the offended
6. Seek forgiveness from and reconciliation with the offended
7. Fully disclose information about the offense, including, as applicable, any explanation (not with the intent to defend the offense)
8. Offer appropriate corrective action/compensation (not necessarily financial)

Which criteria do you agree/disagree with?
Have your opinions changed?
Our Analysis
1. Address the offended and stakeholders
2. Be performed in an appropriate context (public/private)
3. Be delivered in a manner that is truthful, sincere, timely and voluntary
4. Explicitly acknowledge and accept responsibility for any offense
5. Express regret and empathy for the offended
6. Seek forgiveness from and reconciliation with the offended
7. Fully disclose information about the offense, including, as applicable, any explanation (not with the intent to defend the offense)
8. Offer appropriate corrective action/compensation (not necessarily financial)

Do you find Woods’ or Richards’ apology more sincere? Why, why not – and how does this effect your evaluation of their apology?
Does the nature of the act most affect public forgiveness, or does the quality of the apology?
Ethical Behavior
Borchert and Stewart: Philosophical investigation of the principles governing human actions in terms of their goodness, badness, rightness and wrongness.

Moulton: Obedience to the unenforceable

Kebacqz: Think about ethical issues not only in terms of right behaviour, but also in terms of appropriate feelings, attitudinal responses, and ways of being.
Virtues are “those traits of character or personhood that help one live up to or live out the principles of an ethical system” (Lambeth)

Virtues motivate us to be our best selves, to have admirable character traits that will lead us to make good decisions under all sorts of conditions, to flourish, to be good citizens, to have true happiness.
Virtue Ethics
Should Miley apologize for her VMA performance?
Emotional Bias
Our emotional connection with celebrities results in a bias that will impact our evaluation of their actions and apologies
Kanye West is a lyricist, rapper and self-proclaimed "voice of a generation"
"I'm sorry, Taylor. We're both artists, and the media and managers are trying to get between us. She deserves the apology more than anyone. Thank you [Twitter co-founders] Biz Stone and Evan Williams for creating a platform where we can communicate directly."
Does your bias factor in when you're choosing to accept a celebrity's apology?
Have you ever accepted or refused an apology because of your personal connection or identification with a celebrity?
Do you believe that the honest form of stream of consciousness redeems the apology, even though it is on Twitter?
Black, J., & Roberts, C. (2011). Doing Ethics in Media: Theories and Practical Applications. New York: Routledge.

Freeman, H. (2013). Miley Cyrus’s twerking routine was cultural appropriation at its worst. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/aug/27/miley-cyrus-mtv-video-music-awards-criticism

Graham. (2013). Miley Cyrus: ‘I wasn’t on Drugs, I Just Wanted To Impress My EDM Heroes’. Retrieved from http://www.wunderground.ie/miley-cyrus-i-wasnt-on-drugs-i-just-wanted-to-impress-my-edm-heroes/

Hearit, K., & Borden, S. (2006). Apologetic Ethics. In K. Hearit (Ed.), Crisis Management by Apology: Corporate Response to Allegations of Wrongdoing (pp. 58-78). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Liston, B. (2009). Update 4 – Tiger Woods admits ‘transgressions,’ apologizes. Reuters. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/12/02/golf-woods-idUSGEE5B11VL20091202

Tiger Woods Official Sponsors. (2013). Retrieved from www.tigerwoods.com/sponsors/sponsors

Usher, N. & Schuh, J. S. (2010) “I’m Sorry, Oh, So Sorry”: Celebrity Apologies and Public Ethics. In H. Good & S. L. Borden (Eds.), Ethics and entertainment: essays on media culture and media morality (pp. 23-37). Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers.

Wallace, K. (2013). Outraged parents: Why Miley Cyrus’ performance sets girls and women back. CNN. Retrieved from http://edition.cnn.com/2013/08/27/living/outraged-parents-why-miley-cyrus-performance-sets-girls-and-women-back/index.html
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