Director John Carney has apologized for his intentional, targeted disrespect toward Keira Knightley during an interview for Sing Street, a movie she doesn’t even appear in. His apology appears on his Twitter account, which he apparently temporarily deleted because of the negative attention coming his way.
So, there you go. He blames only himself, doesn’t imply his words were taken out of context, and fully recognizes that he was ‘petty, mean, and hurtful’, as well as ‘arrogant and disrespectful’. As apologies go, it’s pretty comprehensive, although it is notably lacking the phrase ‘male-centric’. Oh, and he spells her name wrong.
It still doesn’t explain what made him say those things in the first place, beyond knowing they’d get him attention, and maybe it’s better not to speculate. Even if, to me, his remarks seemed not just anti-Knightley but anti-woman, and reminded me of the language we sometimes hear from guys who would never call themselves Men’s Rights Activists, but somehow still ‘sympathize’ with the movement. He sounded like someone who doesn’t like or respect women. He used her name like she was an object, compared her unfavourably to her male co-stars, and didn’t mention any other women he enjoys more. And, let’s be real. Nobody uses the word ‘supermodel’ to disparage men.
Still, the apology is thorough enough that there are now throngs of fans—overwhelmingly male—congratulating him below his apology as though he won an award. “Cheers, man!” “Well done John.” On and on. Now, if anyone ever mentions in the future that John Carney made these remarks, there will be red-faced men screeching, “He APOLOGIZED! He APOLOGIZED, can’t you move ON?!?”
Yes, of course we can all move on. We forgive. We just don’t forget. Because this will happen again. Probably not via John Carney or to Knightley, but again, fairly soon, maybe in a situation where the actress is less respected than Keira Knightley, or the director is less overt in his shade-throwing, and there will be headlines that wonder whether so-and-so is as much of a pain in the ass as the director says, with no rebuttal or apology afterward. It will follow her around whether she deserves it or not, and whoever’s criticizing her won’t wear it at all.
Unless, of course, we remember this, and call this sh-t out again next time, and the time after that, and after that. Take the vindication you feel right now and use it the next time this comes up. Because there’s always a next time.