Does An Apology Make It Okay?

Each and every year, viewers tune in to the MTV Video Music Awards because there are always a few moments that the whole world is talking about the next day. Last night’s show was no different in that it had stand-out moments, but one of them was despicable, uncomfortable, and unbelievable.

Taylor Swift, the 19-year-old country music dynamo (who has managed to cross over into pop as well, something pretty rare for a true country artist), won her first “Moon Man”, for Best Female Video of the year. As she was excitedly accepting her award, Kanye West turned what was one of the best moments of her life into quite possibly one of the worst moments of her life (professionally, anyway):

It was surreal and deplorable. Yet, amazingly, he’s done this before, thrown public tantrums about not winning an award; he even did it at the 2006 MTV Europe Video Music Awards when he didn’t win the Best Video Award. In fact, he’s built up so much of a sore loser (to put it lightly) reputation that he even parodied himself during an appearance on SNL in 2007:

As I watched that skit again this morning, it wasn’t as funny as the first twenty times I watched it, when this episode of SNL was on our family’s DVR for about six months. The last little scene in the skit, when Kanye took the blue ribbon from the 8-year-old state farm winner, wasn’t too different from last night, when he stole that moment from young Taylor Swift.

Kanye did apologize later on his blog, saying:

“I’m sooooo sorry to Taylor Swift and her fans and her mom [Andrea]. I spoke to her mother right after and she said the same thing my mother would’ve said. She is very talented! I like the lyrics about being a cheerleader and she’s in the bleachers! …………………… I’m in the wrong for going on stage and taking away from her moment!…………….. Beyonce’s video was the best of this decade!!! I’m sorry to my fans if I let you guys down!!!!! I’m sorry to my friends at MTV. I will apologize to Taylor 2mrw. Welcome to the real world!!!! Everybody wanna booooo me but I’m a fan of real pop culture!!! No disrespect but we watchin’ the show at the cribe right now cause…. Well you know!!!! I’m still happy for Taylor!!!! Boooyaawww!!!! You are very talented!!!!! I gave my awards to Outkast when they deserved it over me… That’s what it is!!!! I’m not crazy yall, I’m just real. Sorry for that!!! I really feel bad for Taylor and I’m sincerely sorry!!! Much Respect!!!!!” (Source:

My problems with this apology? Well, for one thing, he restates that he thinks Beyonce’s video is better. For another, “Welcome to the real world??” WTH? Is that how he thinks he can get away with this, by telling this young girl that it’s part of the real world?

We need to be worried about the people who think that they can do something horrible and then apologize to make it all better. When it comes down to it, Kanye doesn’t have in internal sensor. People who don’t think before they act are dangerous and destructive, and though I think forgiveness is sometimes possible, these kinds of indiscretions are definitely unforgettable. I have a feeling that it might be a while before Taylor Swift listens to any of Kanye’s music again, but I bet, because she seems to have more class in her pinky finger than Kanye does in his entire body, if she ever comes across him in the same room again she will handle it quite well.

Speaking of class, Beyonce not only won the Best Video Award, but saved the evening with her grace, compassion, and panache by talking about how, at 17, she was up for her first VMA with Destiny’s Child and how excited she was at the possibility of winning…and then called Taylor back up to the stage to have her moment. It was a moment of generosity and one of love and caring, and I saw all over Twitter and Facebook last night that people who might not have been Beyonce fans before last night are “life-long fans” now. It was a beautiful thing:

So, what do you think? Does an apology excuse your actions? Where do we draw the line? What do you think is next for Kanye, and where do you think he will be allowed to strike next?



  • Mom24

    No an apology, especially that half-a**ed apology does not make it all right. Not even close.

    I liked Matt Lauer's comments about it this morning.

    Truly obnoxious behavior.

  • Kat

    The poor girl must have been mortified and Kanye is an a-hole. How dare he steal her moment? I wish they'd punk him. Make up an award of some sort, invite everyone and their mother to the show and then, in public, with tv crews and an audience of a gazillion people tell him, you don't deserve this award…see how that makes him feel.
    What a sore loser. Glad Beyonce did the only right thing. I'm not a fan of her's but I ♥ her for her actions.

  • Baby News

    That was an apology? That guy is an egotistical, good-for-nothing…I could go on.

    How terrible. I hope she tells him off IF he actually does apologize to her.

    A lesson I Don't want to teach my son: Do whatever you want now and apologize for it later. That makes everything better. Yeah, I don't think so!

  • Marinka

    That was no apology.

    But even if it were genuine, and heartfelt–I'm so over adults acting badly and then apologizing and thinking that it makes it ok.

    Like, seriously?

    Five minutes ago you didn't know that you did a very bad thing, but now you do?

    Serena Williams lost the semis because she acted badly. And imo, she acted a lot less badly than Kanye and whoever that asshole was who interrupted the President last week.

    Oh, sorry for "asshole". I had no idea, when I typed it five seconds ago that it was a bad word. My emotions got the better of me.

  • Tara R.

    That was no apology. It was another dig at that poor girl. What he did last night was all about him. His demand for attention and his narcissistic delusions that the average person cares what he thinks.

    Beyonce was gracious in her response and bringing Taylor back to the stage. I would hope she also makes a public statement against what West did too.

  • WeaselMomma

    I don't even consider that ignorant statement an apology. Kanye is an idiot and points to much of what is wrong in society. His sense of entitlement and his belief that his opinion is the only one that matters and his regular tantrums over things not going his way and pretending to have apologized for it just point to what a jackass he is.

  • Andie

    I can NOT stand Kanye West. I have hated him since day one and when his stupid music comes on the radio it just grates on my nerves and makes me want to kick his ass. I hate him. He's arrogant, ignorant, and just plain horrible.

    His apology was half assed and the only reason he probably did it was because his publicist told him to. He disgusts me.

  • terri

    I think Taylor Swift is one of the classiest, most talented, sincere people to appear on the pop culture scene in years. What Kanye West did was juvenile and selfish. His apology came with a "but" which makes it insincere and not much of an apology at all. He'll go down in the history books as a joke. I think Taylor will rise far above that.

  • LceeL

    He's done this sort of thing before. Where the heck was the mindset of the show's producers? Did they think he was going to be any different than he had been in the past? Or was this one sure way of getting everybody to take notice?

  • OhCaptain

    Yeah, that wasn't an apology. That was an "oh crap, that's gonna make me look bad" post fact. That sad part is this kind of behavior is happening at such a frequency now that we judge is severity and no longer just deplore it for happening.

    MTV has become a worthless channel in music biz. I can't remember the last time I saw a video. I'm not exactly sure why these awards exist. I remember turning that channel on and listening/watching music. Oh well, maybe I'm just getting old and don't understand music (doubting that).

    Sad day. Someday, we will go back to the old days when even a celebrity would have been tackled by security and not allowed on stage…and sociopaths are no longer adored.

    (Sorry about the rant…)

  • Huckdoll

    Ugh. Though I'm no Taylor Swift fan, I'm totally disgusted with Kanye West for both his tantrum and apology – he lost a fan in me today, that's for sure. That is just not how you treat another human being, period, and I hope he loses all credibility in he industry. Beyonce on the other hand? Beautiful, selfless – completely polar opposite from that douchebag. What she did actually brought a tear to my eye.

  • Bill

    My wife and I try and teach our kids that an apology only works if you change (or at least try to change) your behavior after apologizing.

    He obviously hasn't changed, so his apology means nothing.

  • Lilacspecs

    Definitely sickening behavior. Same as Serena Williams, same as so many celebrities nowadays. The huge salaries and media exposure seem to make these people think they're above the typical moral standards of society.

    Although, in all honesty, I think this is getting more attention than Mel Gibson's anti-semitic comments and his "apology" for that, if you can call it an apology, was enough to get him off the hook. Can you blame someone like Kanye for thinking he could get away with it too?

  • The Toll House Cookie

    I'm sure he must have been coerced into apologizing…so the lack of sincerity is definiting lacking.

  • Otter Thomas

    I hate everything about MTV. My wife watches it a lot but I think it is awful. Most of these celebs apologize because their PR people told them to. They don't ever really feel sorry because their ego doesn't think they are ever wrong. Sorry about that. I will get off my soap box now.

  • SpAzzGiRL

    Thanks for posting that, heard all about it all over twitter and had yet to see the insanity.
    Hate people who think they are entitled, he's just a spoiled brat who was never told no as a child.

  • Momo Fali

    Thanks for posting this. I hadn't seen it and was wondering what all the fuss was about on Twitter last night. I am SO glad that Beyonce had Taylor come back out. She has the class that Kanye is definitely lacking.

    Screw his apology. Moron.

  • JonnyTam13

    I think an apology excuses your actions depending on the situation, as well as the apology. In this case, if the apology was real and sincere, it might be excusable. Since it was a bunch of crap, it does not.

    More importantly, you sticking up for Taylor must mean you're now into Country, right? 😉

  • Michelle

    Huh. I was busy watching FOOTBALL last night but did see a bunch of comments on FB before I went to bed. You're right, and he doesn't have an internal censor either 😉

    No, it doesn't make it ok. It wasn't an apology, it was a justification. He doesn't feel badly for it at all. But the clapping and such at the end — was that for her or for him? I couldn't quite tell from that clip.

  • surprised mom

    I haven't watched MTV in years. I'm not missing much is this is the kind of juvenille, disgusting behavior that is displayed.
    What Kayne wrote is not an apology. I hope Taylor, a class act, doesn't take it seriously and to heart.
    Beonce, well what can you say? She saved the evening and possibly the awards show with her act of generosity.
    Maybe you can apologize once for outrageous, rude behavior, but if you repeat the same behavior over and over and over, the apology is meaningless.
    Why do people, famous and not, think they can do whatever they want with no consequences? Have we really become that numb to this kind of behavior? I hope not. It's not what my husband and I have taught our girls.
    Somehow, someway, someone should tell Kayne enough is enough and to grow the hell up.

  • PJ Mullen

    That was no apology. Like our president pointed out, Kayne is a jacka$$. The people who should be apologizing is MTV for letting him back into the show year after year despite his antics. I cannot stand that channel. I yearn for the days of Adam Curry and the original VJs, you know, when they actually played music.

  • Heather

    I have always loved Kanye, but now? I was disgusted by what he did to Taylor, another artist that I absolutely love. She is incredibly talented, and came on the music scene at 16!

    Beyonce, well, there's a reason why I love her.. What a classy lady!

    Unfortunately, in todays society, it seems that the words "I'm sorry" are always half assed, and never meaningful. It's sad, really.