When it comes to apologies, there are two kinds. There’s the straight up, “I’m sorry I killed your dog, I’ll never forgive myself,” type of apology. And then there are apologies so spectacularly dumb, they come out the other side, making the apologizer look like the Mayor of Awfultown (NOTE: Awfultown is actually not that bad during the Summer Harvest Festival, just saying.)
Lucky for you, we’ve got 10 of the dumbest apologies of all time in one place for you, so you can relive the wincingly earnest, the backhanded, and the just plain stupidest requests for forgiveness ever made.
1.) What Was The Apology: "I've told Rihanna countless times and I'm telling you today, I'm truly, truly sorry that I wasn't able to handle the situation both differently and better."
Who Made It: Chris Brown
Why It Was Dumb: When “the situation” you are referring to is “punching your girlfriend in the face,” how exactly would you have handled it better? Maybe by “not” “punching” her in the “face?”
2.) What Was The Apology: “There’s no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate.”
Who Made It: Newt Gingrich
Why It Was Dumb: Oh, yes, Newt. It’s definitely the fault of you working too hard for our country that you ended up having extra-marital affairs. Why, I’ve been working pretty hard on this top ten list for a while, so I’m sure my wife would understand if I got a little on the side, right? Unrelated: do not let my wife read this list.
3.) What Was The Apology: “I am confident that the world is a safer place today, not only for the people of America but for the people of all nations.”
Who Made It: Richard Nixon
Why It Was Dumb: The first President to ever resign from office, Nixon did cop to his actions, but also apologized by not apologizing. He was right, though: we were way safer with him out of office. #NixonBurn
4.) What Was The Apology: "My daughter had a softball game I desperately wanted to go to, and I was a little impatient. I said some things I shouldn't have said.”
Who Made It: Rick Sanchez
Why It Was Dumb: Those things he shouldn’t have said? Calling Jon Stewart a bigot, and saying that Jews run CNN. If only his a-hole of a daughter hadn’t had a softball game, maybe things would have turned Sanchez wouldn’t have looked like an anti-semite. Has anything good ever come out of softball?
5.) What Was The Apology: "I'm sorry, as everyone who knows me is aware, for losing my temper with my child. I have been driven to the edge by parental alienation for many years now."
Who Made It: Alec Baldwin
Why It Was Dumb: Or, “Blame It On My Daughter, Part 2.” Baldwin left a threatening message for his daughter, calling her a, “thoughtless little pig.” When it turned out he was being taped, he offered the above apology. Guess how many years he’d been driven to the edge of parental alienation? Go on, guess! The correct answer? Eleven, because he left the terrifying message on his eleven year old daughters cell phone. Yipes.
6.) What Was The Apology: “…You know, I’m really busted up over this and I’m very, very sorry to those people in the audience, the blacks, the Hispanics, whites – everyone that was there that took the brunt of that anger and hate and rage and how it came through, and I’m concerned about more hate and more rage and more anger coming through, not just towards me but towards a black/white conflict.”
Who Made It: Michael Richards
Why It Was Dumb: Kramer, after using the “N” word in his stand-up comedy act, used the above, convoluted apology on national television. Come on, Richards: if any washed up sitcom star is going to spur a black/white conflict, it’s going to be Jaleel White.
7.) What Was The Apology: “I am a public person, and when I say something, either articulated and thought out, or blurted out in a moment of insanity, my words carry weight in the public arena.”
Who Made It: Mel Gibson
Why It Was Dumb: Who told him to say that quote, the dictionary? Seriously, that’s like a sandwich saying, “I am a sandwich, and when someone eats me, I am digested.” Defining who you are isn’t an apology, and it doesn’t make the racism go away, Mel.
8.) What Was The Apology: “As [Elin] pointed out to me, my real apology to her will not come in the form of words. It will come from my behavior over time. We have a lot to discuss. However, what we say to each other will remain between the two of us.”
Who Made It: Tiger Woods
Why It Was Dumb: This was followed by a thirteen minute long public apology.
9.) What Was The Apology: “It’s so embarrassing, you know? It sucks because that day I had severe acid reflux. It like started acting up.”
Who Made It: Ashlee Simpson
Why It Was Dumb: Fascinating new symptom of acid reflux, as discovered by Dr. Ashlee Simpson, PhD: it causes your singing to sound just like you’re lip-syncing to a backing track.
10.) What Was The Apology: Every lyric to “Blame On Me”
Who Made It: Akon
Why It Was Dumb: Akon – and nobody else – dry-humped a fourteen-year-old girl live on stage at a concert. Rather than, say, going to jail or something reasonable like that, Akon released a hit single which backhandedly apologized, saying that he guessed if the club couldn’t bother to check IDs, her father couldn’t keep her at home, and she didn’t have the sense not to get dry humped on stage, then he had NO CHOICE but to dry hump her. Millions of pedophiles now play this song as their entire defense at trial.
11.) What Was The Apology: "I respect and admire Alvin Garrett… When I talked of him I was bragging on him with affection and I used a word that I use endearingly with my own grandchildren when I play with them."
Who Made It: Legendary sportscaster Howard Cosell
Why It Was Dumb: Okay, we feel bad picking on Cosell, but he did make this apology after calling Garrett – an African-American player – a “little monkey,” during a game. Maybe Cosell should have been more like Alec Baldwin, and just called his grandchildren, “Stupid pieces of shit.” That wouldn’t have caused nearly the fuss his little monkey comment did.