White supremacy, sexual napalm, and Twitter apologies

12 02 2010

There’s nothing like apologizing for something which hasn’t been printed yet.

In an interview that made its way onto the World Wide Web before it came out in Playboy’s March 2010 issue, John Mayer managed to simultaneously dig a hole for himself while putting his foot in his mouth.

In the issue, he refers to his former love Jessica Simpson as “sexual napalm,” and states that having sex with black women was out, describing his penis as “sort of like a white supremacist.”  I won’t even go into his use of the N-word.

Whoops. But never fear, ladies and gentlemen. There’s a way out.

It’s called Twitter.

Mayer took to his Twitter account to apologize for the interview, although it took him six posts to do so.

“I am sorry that I used the (‘N’) word. And it’s such a shame that I did because the point I was trying to make was in the exact opposite spirit of the word itself,” Mayer said.

Is it just me, or are the apologies getting shorter?

Former president Bill Clinton’s apology for the Monica Lewinsky affair was aired on television and lasted more than four minutes; Michael Richards’ mea culpa on David Letterman’s show for his racist remarks in a comedy club clocked in at over seven minutes.

Yet now, when celebrities make a mistake, an apology posted on MySpace, or Facebook, or Twitter seems to be all that we  require—or expect.

When did we lower our standards this far?

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