As a public relations professional (and, arguably, as an American citizen), it’s my duty to stay in the loop with what’s happening in my community and the world around me. I’m constantly plugged in to local, national and global news on a variety of topics. So at the end of the day, I like to indulge in what I call “junk food for my brain.” Yep – I love me some celebrity gossip!
In the celebrity gossip trade, there are the usual suspects. You know who I’m talking about – the bad girls and guys who feel just as at home in a courtroom as they do on a movie set.
So, I was understandably shocked when I saw a tweet from US Weekly announcing Reese Witherspoon had been arrested in Atlanta for disorderly conduct, stemming from her husband’s DUI arrest.
I had to read that a second time. Isn’t she like, America’s Sweetheart? Elle Woods upholds the law… she doesn’t break it!
Well, news flash. It turns out Reese Witherspoon has a temper, too. And she does not like to see her husband in handcuffs. Click here to see exactly what I’m talking about.
Talk about a PR problem. This Academy Award-winning actress and mother of three, who for a long time cashed in on her good girl image, now found herself in a very “bad girl”-type situation. And to make matters worse, she used a cringe-inducing line on a police officer: “Do you know who I am?”
UGH. Total PR nightmare.
Predictably, Witherspoon retreated from the spotlight. But not for long. In fact, as far as celeb mea culpas go, Witherspoon was pretty quick to say I’m sorry. And she did it very strategically. Within two weeks of her arrest, she appeared on Good Morning America – the most-watched morning show in the country right now. Morning TV tends to be the softball game of TV news. Tamer questions. No “gotcha” stuff. And you know what? I thought Witherspoon’s apology was pretty much a home run. Watch it here.
Why did it work?
1. She accepted responsibility.
2. She talked about the lessons she learned.
3. She admitted there was no excuse for her behavior.
But what did you think? Did she seem contrite? Why or why not?
There was one element of Witherspoon’s apology tour that really rubbed me the wrong way, however. A few weeks after her GMA appearance, Witherspoon was photographed in an airport wearing – wait for it – a baseball cap emblazoned with the Atlanta Police Department logo. To me, this just seemed a little too obvious. Reese, I don’t think the Atlanta Police Department needs to see you wearing their baseball caps. I think they’d rather just see you go back to Hollywood… and stay there.