By Emily Yahr
Many of this year's celebrity apologies, like so much else in 2021, were pretty bleak.
Justin Timberlake offered an overdue apology for his treatment of Britney Spears and Janet Jackson. Morgan Wallen posted an apology video when he was caught saying the n-word. DaBaby apologized for his homophobic comments. Chrissy Teigen said she was "ashamed and completely embarrassed" about her past bullying tweets.
However, as usual, there were also plenty of stars opening up their Notes app or frantically calling their publicists for more, shall we say, bizarre situations ... proving that even as a global pandemic continues, their antics cannot be stopped. Here were some of the weirdest things they apologized for this year:
Made fun of BTS fans
CBS late-night host James Corden has been famous long enough to know that you should never provoke fans of a massively popular boy band. Nevertheless, he made a couple of jokes about BTS, the K-pop superstars, and their appearance at the United Nations General Assembly meeting in September. "It actually marks the first time 15-year-old girls everywhere found themselves wishing that they were Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres," Corden said, prompting an outcry from those who know BTS has a fan base of all ages. When the band visited his show last month, Corden tried to make amends: "I'm 43 years old, and I consider myself to be one of the biggest BTS fans on planet Earth."
Made fun of Madonna
You know who else you don't make jokes about? Madonna. After rapper 50 Cent repeatedly mocked her lingerie photo shoot on Instagram this month, the pop icon shot back by posting a photo of the two of them from the early 2000s. "I guess your new career is getting attention by trying to humiliate others on social media. The least elevated choice you could make as an artist and an adult," she wrote. 50 Cent deleted his earlier posts, tweeting, "Ok Im sorry i did not intend to hurt your feelings. I don't benefit from this in anyway."
Criticized a frozen yogurt shop's food selection
Demi Lovato has been open about having an eating disorder, so they probably didn't think it would be particularly controversial to post about a Los Angeles frozen yoghurt store and offerings labelled "guilt free" and "diet" food. "I will be calling out harmful messaging from brands or companies that perpetuate a society that not only enables but praises disordered eating," Lovato wrote in April, adding the hashtag #dietculturevultures. When the store's social media team pointed out the items were for customers with diabetes and Celiac disease, among others, Lovato still ramped up the negative feedback - but eventually, even fans suggested that Lovato, who had the upper hand with 121 million Instagram followers, should just leave the Bigg Chill alone. Lovato later apologized: "I'm sorry that I got the messaging wrong. I'm sorry that I may have disappointed some people."
Appeared topless on a boat with Princess Eugenie's husband
If there is even a hint of a royal scandal, the internet will be captivated for days - which is exactly what happened this summer when Italian model Erica Pelosini was photographed without her bikini top while on a boat with friends including Jack Brooksbank, the husband of Princess Eugenie, who is Prince Andrew's daughter and William and Harry's cousin. Following much online chatter about the incident, Pelosini gave an interview to the Daily Mail, and explained that when her bikini got wet, she decided to take off her top. "It led people to make improper suggestions and jump to conclusions and it's very hurtful that people are thinking this," she said. "I'm very sorry if I caused any embarrassment to Princess Eugenie and Jack. It wasn't appropriate for me to be topless."
In February, the Golden Globe Awards enlisted "30 Rock" star Tracy Morgan to announce the winner of best original score in a motion picture. "And the Golden Globe goes to ... 'Sal!'" the comedian announced. Long pause. "Soul," he corrected himself, starting to laugh as the audience cracked up. Morgan explained his mistake in a tweet that night ("Sorry SOUL. I was thinking about the pizza I was going to get from my guy SAL on the way home!!"), and really, it seemed just like something Tracy Jordan would do.