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The Year In Unexpected Apologies

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    When you live your life in the public eye, it’s really only a matter of time before you make a mistake that millions of people will see. This is often something negligible, like a wardrobe malfunction or accidentally tripping over your own two feet. Other times, it’s something more significant, like an interview where you say something that offends hordes of other, mostly non-famous people. Hence, the institution known as the Celebrity Apology.

    Every year, we bear witness to this very public eating of crow. And in 2015, many of the mea culpas came from unexpected stars. While it’s not surprising to see Justin Bieber beg forgiveness for, you know, being a paragon of indecency, it’s pretty shocking when Taylor Swift has to make amends in front of her millions of Twitter followers. Ahead, the most memorable apologies of the year.

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    From: Taylor Swift
    To: Nicki Minaj
    For: A Twitter misstep

    On July 21, Nicki Minaj’s controversial “Anaconda” clip was snubbed for an MTV Video Music Award nomination for Video of the Year. Frustrated, Minaj vented on Twitter. “If your video celebrates women with very slim bodies, you will be nominated for vid of the year,” she tweeted, along with a whole bunch of smiley faces. Swift, feeling that Minaj was taking aim at her “Bad Blood” nomination, responded, “I’ve done nothing but love & support you. It’s unlike you to pit women against each other. Maybe one of the men took your slot…” A tense exchange between the two titans went on for a while. Minaj insisted her comments had nothing to do with Swift. (If you truly want a play-by-play and to see what other voices chimed in, we’ve got the receipts, right here.)

    After a couple of days, Swift realized her error. “I thought I was being called out,” she tweeted. “I missed the point, I misunderstood, then misspoke. I’m sorry, Nicki.” In an interview on July 24, Minaj also explained in an interview on Good Morning America that Swift also called her to apologize. “It takes a big person to do what Taylor did,” she told GMA. “We spoke for a long time. We were cracking up laughing on the phone. It’s over, you guys.”

    It may be over, but it was a rare moment in which Swift — whose brand projects a utopian vision of friendship and support among female celebrities — had a lapse in judgement.

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    From: Rebel Wilson
    To: The Kardashians and Jenners
    For: Saying the Kardashians were talentless

    In November, Rebel Wilson she made a comment about the Kardashians and Jenners that the family didn’t find very funny. In an interview with KissFM’s Kyle and Jackie O, Wilson said she declined an opportunity to pair up with Kendall and Kylie to honor an award-winner at the MTV Video Music Awards. “What they stand for is totally against what I stand for,” Wilson told the radio hosts. “They seem a bit superficial and their careers aren’t really based on talent. I know they’re super popular, but I’m all about personality and working hard to get where I am.”

    She could have stopped there, but no. “I mean, how Kim Kardashian got famous from the sex tape, and I just went to acting school and worked really hard,” she added.

    A week later, Wilson addressed her negative remarks. “I’d be very happy to debate the Kardashians anywhere/anytime/any topic,” she tweeted on November 11. She went on to say that the Kardashians’ publicist was running a “smear campaign” against her because of the interview. “In any event, I’m MORE than over this little thing and wish the K clan well X even sent them flowers.” We assume the note that came with the flowers was a little more heartfelt.

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    From: Emily Blunt
    To: The People of America
    For: Something you do every election year

    In September, Blunt jokingly told The Hollywood Reporter that August’s Republican debate had her rethinking her decision to become an American citizen. Presto! Blunt’s comments became chum for the Fox & Friends anchors. Blunt used her subsequent Today show appearance to clear the air. “It was so not the intention to hurt anybody or cause offense, so I really apologize to those I caused offense,” she said. “It was just an offhand joke. I think I’ll probably leave the political jokes to late-night or something.”

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    From: Ariana Grande
    To: The People of America
    For: Licking donuts, hating on America

    Grande made a public apology after a video surfaced in July in which she’s caught licking donuts at a California bakery. “I hate Americans. I hate America,” she said, unaware that security cameras were rolling. The video soon went viral and Grande went on an apology tour, telling Fox that she’s proud to be an American.

    “What I said in a private moment with my friend, who was buying the donuts, was taken out of context and I am sorry for not using more discretion with my words,” she said. She knows what she said was a mistake, but then she tried to spin it a bit. She said she felt frustrated by “how freely we as Americans eat and consume things without giving any thought to the consequences that it has on our health.”

    If that doesn’t really work for you, how about Ari’s second apology, in which she really drives home how proud she is to be American and feels bad that she let her feelings about the food industry get in the way of that. Just in case, she also apologized a third time.

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    From: Kaley Cuoco
    To: Feminists
    For: Not being a feminist

    When asked in a interview with Redbook in January if she considered herself a feminist, Cuoco responded, “It’s not really something I think about.” She said it’s because she’s “never really faced inequality.” The actress took to Instagram to respond to fans who felt disappointed by her attitude towards gender equality. "If any of you are in the 'biz' you are well aware of how words can be taken out of context,” she wrote.

    “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." Generally, apologies are more meaningful when they’re not also blaming the media for taking what she said out of context.