Every year, famous people are forced to acknowledge mistakes they made or inappropriate things they said — but this year had an overwhelming amount of celebrity regret.
Among the transgressions that warranted apologies: Justin Timberlake held hands with a woman who wasn’t his wife. Camila Cabello used racist language in old social media posts. Gina Rodriguez used the n-word while rapping a song on Instagram. Sam Hunt drove drunk. Lara Spencer poked fun at Prince George taking ballet lessons. Lizzo went “too far” when she called out a Postmates driver on Twitter. And so on.
In addition, there were also quite a few, well, more bizarre apologies you might have missed. Here are some of the other errors celebrities made this year, and how they tried to atone.
— Let a seven-year-old use a pocket knife to pop balloons.
Carey Hart, singer Pink’s husband, might be used to living dangerously as a motorcycle racer. But when he handed a pocket knife to his seven-year-old daughter so she could pop balloons, some of his Instagram followers weren’t amused, even when he joked it was a “parent fail.” “I’m so sorry,” he wrote in the comments.
— Insulted Slippery Rock University.
Dr Phil was probably just trying to deliver a pithy quote about the college admissions scandal when he told People magazine that rich parents were fixated on Ivy League schools because, “They don’t want to be the one parent that says, ‘Well, yeah, my kid’s going to, you know, Slippery Rock.’” Students at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania weren’t happy, and the university president slammed the talk show host, whose full name is Phillip C McGraw, in a statement. McGraw responded: “I was unaware of your school and intended to use a fictitious example. One hundred per cent my mistake. I have since educated myself about SRU and could not be more impressed with your fine institution.”
— Made a joke about AirPods.
Chrissy Teigen is famous for her entertaining Twitter feed and her openness about the privileges of being a wealthy celebrity, but those two collided in an unfortunate way last month when she joked, “my mom treats her air pods like they’re disposable. Buys a few a month. She says they would be easier to not lose if they had ... a cord.” Seeing as how AirPods cost upward of $159 (Dh583.9), many of her followers didn’t find it so funny. A few hours later, Teigen noticed the backlash and offered a follow-up tweet and apology: “It was meant as a joke [and exaggeration] about how my mom doesn’t realise air pods are with a cord are headphones but it came across as super tone deaf and icky.”
— Called Madonna a “human toilet.”
Italian designer Marcelo Burlon wasn’t thrilled when he saw Madonna wearing a sweatsuit from his brand, County of Milan, and referred to the pop icon as “la cessa” — which is an Italian slang term for “human toilet.” Once his criticism made headlines, he apologised for his “stupidity” in a Instagram caption that read in part: “I haphazardly and irresponsibly used a common Italian slur to describe her. The term, which I use often with close friends, in context is non offensive, but I clearly understand that it was my mistake to assume that I could speak on social media using the same tone that I use in my daily private life.”
— Expressed appreciation for Jennifer Lopez on Instagram.
J-Lo earned a lot of applause on Instagram in January when she posted a photo of herself in a bikini top with hashtags including #NoSugarNoCarbs. One of her fans? Ex-boyfriend Diddy, who wrote “OMG” followed by a heart. After some criticism from other commenters, Diddy (Sean Combs) reached out to apologise to Lopez’s fiance, Alex Rodriguez. “He was like, ‘I didn’t mean anything by it, I have nothing but respect for you guys, I’m so happy for you,’” Lopez told ‘The Breakfast Club.’
— Posted an ill-advised video about a woman’s “cans.”
“I love double entendres,” Bravo’s ‘Southern Charm’ star Shep Rose wrote on an Instagram video that made fun of a woman in New York who had collected many bags of cans. In the now-deleted video, the woman covers her face as he tells her, “Nice cans! I mean, the cans you have.” His followers were horrified (“Cheap way to get ‘laughs’ from followers but there is nothing funny about homelessness”) and Rose initially refused to apologise. Eventually, he caved, although he said that the clip was “taken out of context” because before that moment, the two had been pleasantly chatting. “I know some people were upset about the video from Sunday night,” he tweeted. “It was a stupid joke and bad idea all around.”
— Ignored Drake’s texts.
During a game of ‘Who’d You Rather?’ on Ellen DeGeneres’s show earlier this year, Heidi Klum announced that she would date Drake. Flattered by this mention, the rapper acquired the supermodel’s number and got in touch — but Klum admitted months later that she ignored the message, because he happened to text her right after she met Tom Kaulitz, her now-husband. In another ‘Ellen’ appearance, Klum apologised, and said she eventually texted Drake to say sorry as well. His response? A sceptical-looking emoji.
— Shamed Chris Pratt for using a plastic water bottle.
As Aquaman, Jason Momoa must feel the need to protect the sea at all costs, and this includes the use of single-use plastic water bottles. After Chris Pratt posted an Instagram photo holding a plastic bottle, Momoa commented: “Bro I love u but wtf on the water bottle. No single use plastic. Come on.” Pratt gamely responded (“Aquaman! You’re completely right ... My bad. I don’t want your home of Atlantis covered in plastic.”), but some fans thought the whole shaming exchange was bizarre, and Momoa offered another comment: “I’m sorry this was received so badly today I didn’t mean for that to happen.” But he used the occasion to plug his line of canned water, so really, who was the winner here?