Biggest celebrity apologies on social media in 2019 — from Justin Timberlake to Gina Rodriguez
The stars who had to say sorry in 2019
From Justin Timberlake stepping out on Jessica Biel, to Gina Rodriguez saying the N-word, celebrities ate a lot of crow in 2019. We hope they do better in 2020, but we have a feeling we might be disappointed. We've also included some light-hearted "apologies" from the likes of Keke Palmer and Game of Thrones' the Mountain to show you that saying sorry doesn't have to be the worst thing in the world.
Click through the gallery for our full rundown!
Lady Gaga, Chance the Rapper, Nick Cannon, and Phoenix for working with R. Kelly
Lady Gaga, Chance the Rapper, Nick Cannon, and the band Phoenix all apologized in January for their past work with disgraced singer R. Kelly. Gaga removed the ARTPOP song "Do What You Want" (which featured Kelly) from streaming platforms and created new copies of the album without the collaboration.
This January, we learned Queen's Brian May doesn't like it when you tell him what to do. After a fan on Instagram suggested he unfollow Bryan Singer, May snapped, "You need to look after your own business." He later apologized in a statement confirming he unfollowed the director, who's faced numerous accusations of having sexual relations with underage boys.
In a well-meaning-but-tone-deaf claim, comic Rhea Butcher praised Don Cheadle in February for his "intersectional statement" when he wore a shirt proclaiming "Protect Trans Kids" on Saturday Night Live. She later said she was "very wrong" and thanked activist Kat Blaque for showing her intersectionality wasn't the same thing as inclusion; its history involved black women's intersecting identities being left out of conversations around sexism and racism.
The Mountain to Missandei
Game of Thrones actor Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson atoned for his onscreen sins as the Mountain in a cheeky Instagram picture in Maywith costar Nathalie Emmanuel, a.k.a. Missandei. "So sorry. Cersei made me do it. Hope we’re cool!" the caption read, referring to Missandei's death at the hands of the Mountain. We thought it was hilarious, but still, #JusticeforMissandei.
Constance Wu was being a shady lady back in May when she vague-tweeted "f--ing hell" and that she was "so upset" following the renewal of her show Fresh Off the Boat. She later apologized, clarifying in a lengthy statement on Twitter that she was "proud of" FOTB and was only upset because the renewal meant she had to give up another project.
Moby to Natalie Portman
Moby made a big mess in May when he wrote about an alleged relationship with 20-year-old Natalie Portman in his new book, to which she responded she had "just turned 18" and saw him more as an "older man being creepy." He first apologized to Portman, before cancelling his book tour and saying he would "go away for awhile." "I am the one who released the book without showing it to the people I wrote about. ... There is obviously no one else to blame but me,” he wrote on Instagram.
Justin Timberlake to Jessica Biel
Justin Timberlake's fun night out this month took a turn when people spotted him holding hands with his Palmer costar Alisha Wainwright -- a.k.a, not his wife, Jessica Biel. The star took to Instagram to apologize to his wife of seven years, explaining that he "drank way too much ... and should have known better." He ended his note by saying people should still see his movie, though.
Lara Spencer to Prince George
Good Morning America host Lara Spencer had to say sorry after she publicly mocked Prince George for taking ballet lessons in August. She then apologized on Instagram, writing "from ballet to anything one wants to explore in life, I say GO FOR IT," followed by an on-air apology and interview with professional male dancers.
Lizzo to Postmates driver
Lizzo might not have been feeling good as hell after this faux pas. In September, the "Truth Hurts" singer accused a Postmates driver of stealing the food she ordered. Later she walked back her claim on Twitter, acknowledging she shouldn't have publicly aired the issue. "Imma really be more responsible with my use of social media and check my petty and my pride at the door," she also tweeted.
Unfortunately, that wasn't the end of it as the driver filed a lawsuit against Lizzo for "libel, intentional infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy."
A Little Late host Lilly Singh's on-air joke landed her in trouble less than two weeks after her show's September debut. The Indian-Canadian comedian reacted to a photo of guest Jessica Alba's kids with towels on their heads with the quip, "Don't worry, it's like my Punjabi friends."
After people pointed out the remark was culturally inappropriate, Singh apologized on Twitter by recognizing "that was a disrespectful and problematic joke to make that has a lot of painful history behind it."
South Park creators to China (sorta)
After China scrubbed a South Park episode critical of the country's censorship laws, the show's creators offered a sincere apology in October. Sike. "Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts,” read part of Trey Parker and Matt Stone's "official apology" on Twitter. "We, too, love money more than freedom and democracy. Xi doesn’t look just like Winnie the Pooh at all."
Gina Rodriguez's no stranger to controversy, having faced previously backlash for her comments on race in entertainment. This time around, the Someone Great actress used the N-word while singing along to the Fugees on her Instagram Story in October. In one of two apologies, Rodriguez took responsibility for uttering a word that carried a "legacy of hurt and pain that I cannot even imagine."
This one's a doozy. In late October, Actor's Hour deservedly ate crow for letting Harvey Weinstein attend a performance in New York City. Twitter exploded after learning that three separate women spoke out against the disgraced producer at the event, with two of them getting kicked out. “I want to sincerely apologize to any people — male or female — who were re-traumatized, hurt, or felt disrespected this week at Actor's Hour,” said Alexandra Laliberte, who runs the venue, in a statement on Facebook. “Mr. Weinstein will not be attending any future Actor’s Hour events.”
Survivor got its #MeToo moment this year, as contestant Dan Spilo repeatedly and inappropriately touched fellow competitors. If that wasn't bad enough, a few female contestants used his actions as a strategy, resulting in the elimination of one of Spilo's victims, Kellee Kim.
After viewers blasted the women's behavior, they apologized on Twitter on Nov. 14. “Sexual harassment and sexual assault are extremely serious, life altering topics that I do not take lightly," Elizabeth Beisel wrote. "I am beyond disappointed in my behavior and will use this as a life-changing, teaching moment." Missy Byrd and Lauren Beck also apologized on the platform.
Jason Momoa to Chris Pratt
Before you think Aquaman and Star-Lord were beefing, this "squabble" was relatively tame. Jason Momoa criticized Chris Pratt for an Instagram post showing the Guardians of the Galaxy actor with a plastic water bottle, to which Pratt responded that he would do better in the future. “I’m sorry this was received so badly today I didn’t mean for that to happen," Momoa said of the situation in December, adding he'd send Pratt a case of Mananalu -- his line of eco-friendly canned waters.
Justin Bieber for, well, all of it
What didn't Justin Bieber apologize for in 2019? First it was the fake pregnancy, then it was his attack on Taylor Swift, then it was for past racist comments -- and of course, there was the long Instagram apology for *gestures broadly* ... 2009-2019, we guess. We applaud him for owning up to his mistakes, but boy do we hope Notes App apologies die in 2020.
Camila Cabello apologized on Twitter when old posts of hers on Tumblr using racist language and sharing xenophobic memes resurfaced in December. Cabello noted she had previously apologized for her behavior and was willing to apologize again, saying, "When I was younger, I used language that I'm deeply ashamed of and will regret forever." The singer went on to write, "I was uneducated and ignorant and once I became aware of the history and the weight and the true meaning behind this horrible language, I was deeply embarrassed I ever used it."