After Kanye West kept fans at last summer's Bonaroo music festival waiting for two hours, he was greeted with boos and bad press. He later issued a somewhat angry apology on his Web site:
"This is the most offended I've ever been ... This is the maddest I will ever be. It broke my heart that I couldn't give these fans 'Stronger' in its finest form. I'm sorry to everyone that I didn't have the ability to give the performance I wanted to. I'm sorry."
Us Weekly senior editor Bradley Jacobs believes West's fans accepted his apology. "He was angry, he was showing a passion," he said. "No doubt about it, he was sincere, and it rings true. He's never quiet. He has an ego. I think that statement is very true to him. I think it works."
Sharon Stone waited until she was dropped as a Christian Dior spokesperson in China before apologizing for her remark to a reporter that China's August earthquake may have been "karma" for the way the Chinese government has treated Tibet.
Issuing an apology through Dior in China, the "Basic Instinct" star said, "In the course of the interview, I made inappropriate remarks, and for any harm created towards the Chinese people, I am extremely sad and apologize."
Jacobs believes Stone's apology missed its mark. "I think when you criticize a group so broadly, as she did, people expect a much more profound apology. A statement wasn't going to necessarily cut it," he said.
Cole says apologies that aren't heartfelt end up appearing gratuitous. "Many people apologize immediately, and you can tell by tone of voice, by body posture or by the means of communicating, whether the apology is authentic," she said. "I would venture to say that an in-authentic apology is worse than saying nothing."
Amanda Peet, a paid proponent of childhood vaccinations, apologized for calling parents who refuse to vaccinate their children "parasites." But she did not back down from her stance on the issue.
"I believe in my heart that my use of the word 'parasites' was mean and divisive," she wrote in a letter of apology. "I completely understand why it offended some parents, and in particular, parents of children with autism who feel that vaccines caused their illness. For this I am truly sorry. However, I still believe that the decision not to vaccinate our children bodes for a dangerous future."
Peet went on to make her case for why children should be vaccinated. No one would accuse her of over-apologizing.
"You have to be careful not to look pathetic," Jacobs said. "As we know from the dating world, you have to say your apology and shut up."
Sometimes an apology is not enough, as tarnished National Hockey League star Sean Avery discovered after he referred to his ex-girlfriend, actress Elisha Cuthbert, as "sloppy seconds" for another NHL player whom she is now dating.
"I should not have made those comments, and I recognize that they were inappropriate," Avery said in a statement the day after he made the off-color quip at a press conference. "It was a bad attempt to build excitement for the game, but I am now acutely aware of how hurtful my actions were."
Apparently, the hurt ran deep. After a six-day suspension, Avery was axed from the Dallas Stars Monday and checked into a 10-day treatment program.
"People in sports used to be allowed to not be so polished," Cole said. "I'm sure they wish those days would come back.