We’re living in a cultural moment that finally takes accusations of sexual harassment and abuse seriously, and as such, we’ve been reading a lot of public apologies lately.
Accused celebrities from Kevin Spacey to Louis C.K. to Jeffrey Tambor (among many others) have issued statements that run the gamut from lukewarm to inappropriately personal, but in general, they all read just about the same way. In fact, these apologies generally follow a format so simple to recreate that even a computer could write one.
Case in point: the Celebrity Perv Apology Generator (via AV Club), a project from Dana Schwartz, Rob Sheridan, and Scott McCaughey that mocks the often hollow public statements of famous men who’ve abused their power.
The common phrases are all there, from “I do not recall” to “the allegations against me are troubling” to the always infuriating “locker room talk.” The resulting apologies sound something like this:
The Celebrity Perv Apology Generator isn’t the only project ripping into the public statements out of Hollywood in recent weeks. Poet Isobel O’Hare’s “erasure poems” take a black marker to public apologies from accused abusers, building poems about sexual misconduct from what’s left.