Commentary

Do TV Apologies Make Good TV? Do Advertisers Care?

TV apologies. Many on-air TV types make them. But not everyone. And not all those regrets appear on TV.

Some recent concessions: TV comedic performer Roseanne Barr, TBS talk show host Samantha Bee and former President Bill Clinton.

Are there any other politicians or TV performers missing here? Some would say President Trump should be making similar amends to the groups he has insulted. Add in movie/TV executive Harvey Weinstein and TV performer/comedian Bill Cosby.

It is unclear what effect these mea culpas -- in whatever venue -- have on TV viewers and TV advertisers that support the programming.

TV public apologies can be harder to find. Roseanne Barr and Samantha Bee made their apologies on Twitter.

For his part, Clinton, on NBC News, did refer to a less-than-optimal previous “public” apology for his actions concerning Monica Lewinsky while he was President. That somewhat hostile TV turn was followed up with a more sincere apology at an public event in New York City and other places.

Remorse and redemption are traditional character behaviors for key TV screen attention -- whether on fictional TV dramas or comedies  or from real-life public officials via press conferences and other venues. 

Before Barr and Bee, Fox News Channel’s Laura Ingraham, host of “The Ingraham Angle,” apologized in early April for remarks about Parkland, Florida high-school student survivor-activist David Hogg, about his getting into college. Ingraham made her apology remarks on Twitter. And some TV show advertisers took a hike.

We don’t know the exact sentiment of her viewers. But by the end of May, her show’s Nielsen ratings grew.

What about Barr and Bee? For the former, ABC continues to work hard to salvage another season of “Roseanne” with the remaining cast, under a new show name. Did Barr’s firing and subsequent apology make a difference here?  

After Samantha Bee’s remarks on Ivanka Trump, two advertisers publicly said they would suspend media. There were no other announced defections.

Twitter seems to be the optimal place to make atonements -- which makes sense. The print-based digital platform has lower media heat than the glare and immediacy of the TV screen.

So apologies work? Or is it a waste? And where is the best venue to do it?

Seems President Trump needs to consider this. Our TV President knows U.S. citizens vote with their remote control-sensitive fingers and delete keys on their electronic devices.

1 comment about "Do TV Apologies Make Good TV? Do Advertisers Care?".
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  1. Kenny Kurtz from creative license, June 9, 2018 at 6:46 a.m.

    This trivialization of a human being apologizing to another human being, or group of human beings is disheartening. A twit should apologize on Twitter, and a showman should apologize on a TV show. The only true, heartfelt, and necessary apologies occur in person, and face to face. They always work, are always beneficial, always MATTER.

    The equivalency that continues to be drawn between the most powerful man on planet earth abusing the power of his office to satisfy his lust, and sexually harass a female employee (a wide-eyed intern no less, fresh out of college, three decades his junior) and a private citizen that may, or may not have had dalliances (we know for a fact that Clinton was guilty of workplace sexual harassment) with women NOT IN HIS EMPLOY while far afield from the office of the Presidency is also disheartening. Whatever narrative that fits one's ideology, I suppose.

    Two decades ago, watching Clinton's sexual harassment saga unfold (not a surprise, he'd been accused of it before in various powerful jobs by credible women in his employ... "female-friendly" Hillary eviscerated those credible women with undocumented allegations and aspersion of all sorts against them), I told my wife to watch and see what unfolds from the leader of the free world smirking, and lying, and obfuscating, and diminishing his VERY CLEAR workplace SEXUAL HARASSMENT. I told my wife that 10, 20 years from now we will see more and more men found guilty of this same crime, this same sickening behavior, emboldened by the cavalier, and dismissive ways of our President "Slick Willy."

    Sure enough, see what has come to pass. Clinton didn't create workplace sexual harassment. He didn't create sick men like Weinstein, Laur, O'Reilly, Ailes, Rose, and Freeman. But his behavior, and attitude did embolden them, and did make it clear to them that it was indeed possible for many, many people to perceive workplace sexual harassment as "acceptable, under certain circumstances."

    For that, he owes the world an apology. 

    I didn't vote for Trump. I couldn't hold my nose long enough in the voting booth to do so. As such, I voted Libertarian. But I must say, while I still think Trump is a buffoon, he's clearly an effective buffoon, and the unfair treatment he receives from the media might be enough to get me to vote for him in 2020. 

    I will say this. I don't care if Trump is unfaithful to his wife. I wouldn't elect him to that job for his marital fidelity... only an ignorant person would use that as criteria considering the behavior of Presidents in the past. Let me close with this. The only thing Trump has been accused of by the many thousands of women that have been in his employ over the decades is PAYING THEM EQUALLY, and giving them equal opportunity in the workplace. This "misogynist" has a documented good record of this.

    The horror.

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