These days, it’s standard procedure when a celebrity lands a big profile in a magazine: The star says something that may be controversial. The quote is excerpted, analyzed, and causes outrage. Then the celebrity apologizes. Or in most cases, “apologizes.”
That’s exactly what happened to Kaley Cuoco, who has a big movie (“The Wedding Ringer”) opening this month and is the star of CBS’s hugely popular “The Big Bang Theory.” She sat for a cover story for Redbook magazine and gave some quotes about feminism that got some backlash. The result: She followed it up with, truly, one of the most incredible non-apologies we have ever seen, proving that celebrity apologies are a fine art.
During the interview, the mag asked if she considers herself a feminist. Cuoco answered “Is it bad if I say no?” and continued: “Things are different now, and I know a lot of the work that paved the way for women happened before I was around… I was never that feminist girl demanding equality, but maybe that’s because I’ve never really faced inequality.” And: “I cook for [my husband] Ryan five nights a week: It makes me feel like a housewife; I love that. I know it sounds old-fashioned, but I like the idea of women taking care of their men.”
Naturally, her thoughts on feminism drew some harsh criticism and were picked up by tons of outlets. In response, in a predictable follow-up on New Year’s Day, Cuoco offered this statement on Instagram.
In my Redbook article ,some people have taken offense to my comments regarding feminism- if any of you are In the “biz” you are well aware of how words can be taken out of context. I’m completely blessed and grateful that strong women have paved the way for my success along with many others. I apologize if anyone was offended. Anyone that truly knows me, knows my heart and knows what I meant.
Again, it so deeply hits the non-apology trifecta that we must dissect it further. Breaking this down:
1. “Taken out of context.”
This is a classic celebrity move, blaming the media outlet — those media outlets help fuel celebrity careers, of course — for not properly contextualizing her thoughts. Cuoco digs deeper with this point, adding that those in showbiz know what that’s like; presumably, something us mere mortals can’t understand.
2. “I apologize if anyone was offended.”
Celebrities aren’t the only ones that use this line, but it’s so predictable at this point that it’s almost comforting. Most importantly, it does not actually mean you’re sorry.
3. “Anyone that truly knows me.”
As we have explained in detail, this route is also popular because the star wants to reiterate that people that actually know her — and not the fans reading the magazine — understand the real meaning behind her words. So there’s no way they should make anyone upset.
Moral of the story here: It’s admirable to put in the effort for an impressive non-apology. But if it so clearly comes across that you don’t really mean it, it’s better to just say nothing at all.
In my Redbook article ,some people have taken offense to my comments regarding feminism- if any of you are In the "biz" you are well aware of how words can be taken out of context. I'm completely blessed and grateful that strong women have paved the way for my success along with many others. I apologize if anyone was offended. Anyone that truly knows me, knows my heart and knows what I meant. ❤️