Say You’re Sorry

Say You’re Sorry is a timely, insightful podcast series about public apologies, exploring why they’re harder to give (and receive) than you might expect. By going deep on nine different apologies — for everything from YouTube drama to sexual harassment to Cold War experiments — the show offers a new way to think about what it means to say you’re sorry. See below for additional notes from each episode, and full transcripts.

LISTEN ON AUDIBLE NOW

EPISODE ONE: The Anatomy of an Apology

It seems like every day there’s a new apology in the news. But are all these “I’m sorry”s actually getting us anywhere? Lux Alptraum and Siona Peterous take a close look at Justin Timberlake’s Instagram apology to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson.

Further Reading:

FULL TRANSCRIPT (pdf)

EPISODE TWO: Too Good to Be True

When Lacy Crawford published a memoir about being sexually assaulted as a student at the elite, exclusive St. Paul’s School, she hoped it would spark change on campus. A beautifully written apology from the school board made her feel heard and hopeful, but the events that followed told a different story.

Further Reading:

FULL TRANSCRIPT (pdf)

EPISODE THREE: Ariana Grande Has Sent You a Message

Culture critic Roslyn Talusan used to love Ariana Grande. But when an off-color tweet about Ariana triggered harassment from a horde of angry stans, that love turned to hate. But she never expected a direct message apology from the pop superstar herself.

Further Reading:

FULL TRANSCRIPT (pdf)

EPISODE FOUR: The Business of Saying Sorry

It’s incredibly rare to find a corporate apology that amounts to anything more than a company protecting profits. This is the story of two families who lost loved ones at the hands of corporate negligence, and how one of them actually got a meaningful response. 

Further Reading:

FULL TRANSCRIPT (pdf)

EPISODE FIVE: An American Apology

In 1993, a dogged journalist uncovered a shocking secret: the United States had injected people with plutonium without their knowledge or consent. That discovery set off a chain of events that not only culminated in an apology from President Clinton himself, but set into motion a much more famous mea culpa.

Further Reading:

FULL TRANSCRIPT (pdf)

EPISODE SIX: To All the Fans I’ve Let Down

At this point, the trademarks of a YouTube apology are infamous. Which makes it all the more surprising that beauty influencer Gabriel Zamora’s apology video didn’t just save his career — but actually won over a few apology skeptics in the process.

Further Reading:

FULL TRANSCRIPT (pdf)

EPISODE SEVEN: I’m Sorry If…

When a famous abuser apologizes, we tend to focus on their redemption arc — usually at the expense of survivors. This is the story of four women who were harassed and abused by the playwright Israel Horovitz, and what it felt like to hear him apologize after decades of angry denial.

Further Reading:

FULL TRANSCRIPT (pdf)

EPISODE EIGHT: The Call for Reparations

What kind of remedy is appropriate after a something as horrific as genocide, when a verbal apology could never adequately address the harm done? For many people, the obvious answer is reparations. This episode tackles two stories of survival and remediation, with host Lux Alptraum’s family exploring their own experience with Holocaust reparations, and the descendents of Namibian genocide survivors discussing their uphill battle for reparations of their own.

Further Reading:

FULL TRANSCRIPT (pdf)

EPISODE NINE: A Family Affair

When Jade got an unexpected apology from her mother, it didn’t just change their relationship. It shifted her entire understanding of what it means to say, “I’m sorry.”

FULL TRANSCRIPT (pdf)

OTHER RESOURCES & SPECIAL THANKS

Justice Through Apologies by Nick Smith

I Was Wrong: The Meanings of Apologies by Nick Smith

Special thanks to Good Peeples Studio

Transcriptions by Emily White at The Wordary.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.