Does an apology work? How the Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey & Other Scandals Shape Their Brand Image
In recent weeks, Donna Karan, Kevin Spacey, and Harvey Weinstein have all apologized for their words or actions. But, is it enough to rescue their brand image?
Donna initially claimed that women may have been at fault by virtue of how they dressed – and this statement came from a clothing designer! One week later she eventually faced the cameras again, but this time it was to rationalize her behavior: “I had just…. come from a 14-hour plane trip…I walked into a situation that I wasn’t prepared for in any circumstance whatsoever.” She later stated that her words were taken out of context.
Let me be clear: Being tired is not an excuse; blaming the reporter and the victim is not an apology. Only embracing the situation, recognizing your mistakes, and committing to a solution is.
“I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with past colleagues has caused a lot of pain and I sincerely apologize for it” is the quote from Harvey Weinstein.
Again, this is not an apology. It’s as if he’s thanking his colleagues for putting up with his behavior. And, let’s not forget that he then went about denying every allegation and even suing his own company to reclaim his wealth and company. After now 87 accusers have now come forward, his brand reputation is sullied.
Kevin Spacey also almost apologized, but it was tainted by coming out as a gay man. In short, he used gay out as the news story instead of taking responsibility.
Esteemed reporter Mark Halperin’s career came crashing down on October 25 after 5 women came forward accusing him of sexual harassment at ABC News. His statements include this statement: “I am profoundly sorry for the pain and anguish I have caused by my past actions. I apologize sincerely to the women I have mistreated.” You’re welcome to read the entire apology, but it’s the best statement I’ve seen so far during this debacle.A true #apology includes emotion, regret, remorse, and a desire to change. Click To Tweet
Americans Forgive & Forget…With an Apology
Americans are great at amnesia; we forget and we forgive when given an apology. Reese Witherspoon gave a heartfelt apology after her atrocious statements given to police after her husband was arrested for a DUI. It is authentic and appropriate.
Tiger Woods, Mel Gibson, Michael Richards, Ryan Lochte, and Kanye West have all apologized; some were dismissed as publicity necessities while others appeared genuine.
Here’s the bottom line: Not everything is forgiven, but a sincere apology is the essential first step.
To your sizzling success!