A proper apology generally means that, when you say you're sorry, you mean it. You don't make excuses, you don't say "I'm sorry if you were offended." You buck up, take responsibility for what you've done, and you deliver a heartfelt and sincere "I'm sorry."
And if you're apologizing to Canadians, who are known worldwide for their ability to express remorse, you'd better get it right, especially if you insult them.
Just ask celebrity magician Penn Jillette, who has been 'mea culpa'-ing left right and centre today after Newfoundlanders took him to task for insulting their intelligence on a talk show Friday night.
Jillette, half of the comedic magic duo "Penn & Teller," talked about his Newfoundland roots during an appearance on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" that aired Friday night.
"I'm probably from Newfoundland, which is just a euphemism for stupid," Jillette told the host. "All of those people up in the frozen North that club seals, those are my people."
Not surprisingly, Newfoundlanders and other Canadians were not impressed, and told Jillette so in no uncertain (but still mostly polite, because Canadian) terms:
@pennjillette Newfoundlanders are not stupid, quite the opposite.. You have an open invitation to visit sometime.great things happening here— Greg Hawco (@greghawco) August 19, 2017
Want to walk the diss back— john a. (@Sirjohn_A) August 19, 2017
I'm proudly from Newfoundland & invite you to my home so you can understand where you went wrong with that statement.— LRG (@BesLori) August 19, 2017
Like we said, mostly polite: Jillette's apology didn't satisfy comedian Mark Critch, a native Newfoundlander, who said on Twitter that until the magician learns about his heritage, he should act like his famously-silent partner Teller and "shut it."
And so, the performer did not hesitate to fall on his sword and apologize Saturday to the people of Newfoundland:
I did 100+ personal apologies for my stupidity on Newfoundland on Real Time, figuring personal was better. Someone said blanket was better:— Penn Jillette (@pennjillette) August 19, 2017
I LOVED doing Real Time and had a blast and then badly screwed up on a failed set up for a bit about my family in Newfoundland. I'm so sorry— Penn Jillette (@pennjillette) August 19, 2017
I apologize to people of my favorite place, Newfoundlan,d and my family for screwing up a on Real Time. Bad idea, badly done, not finished.— Penn Jillette (@pennjillette) August 19, 2017
Believe me I will talk a LOT about my love for Newfoundland on https://t.co/XO3gxvB5yC tomorrow. Setting up interview up there to apologize— Penn Jillette (@pennjillette) August 19, 2017
May I apologize without apologizing or mitigating to the people of Newfoundland. I was wrong. Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong.— Penn Jillette (@pennjillette) August 19, 2017
And again, to everyone this time:
And now, I apologize for all the people's whose Twitter feed was clogged with my apologies because I am so stupid. (Not "was," "am")— Penn Jillette (@pennjillette) August 19, 2017
Luckily, Newfoundlanders responded with grace and good humour, and gave Jillette a pass:
Figured dat's what you was at. Don't worry about it b'y. Always thought you were, in the Newfoundland parlance, best kind ;)— Brock N (@bermynewfie) August 19, 2017
Yer forgiven. Come back and visit, m'kay?— Spencer Crewe (@SpencerinNL) August 19, 2017
Sure you're a typical Newf, no control over what comes outta ya gob. Lol.— Gloria Rodgers (@GloriaRo13) August 19, 2017
Now that didn't take any magic, did it? Just a little heart to stick the landing. We Canadians appreciate that, you know.
With files from The Canadian Press
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