"It's insulting to have done something offensive to someone and then to not acknowledge it," said Engel. "The validation itself is significant and then the expressing regret."
In recent years, most of the public apologies have come from celebrities and politicians whose misdeeds have been publicly aired. David Vitter, John Edwards, Eliot Spitzer, Chris Brown and former President Bill Clinton are among the many who have had to deliver their apologies to a crowd.
But while public statements have grown in number, true apologies may not be on the rise.
"You come out with it because you talk to some public relations person who's told you [that you] need to get out in front of this," said Peele. "They all seem forced and artificial."
Many celebrities, he said, don't seem to express remorse, and he blames it on bloated egos.
"They're incapable, as starts, of acknowledging what they've done wrong," said Peele. "They just don't have the ability to do that."