On air: Does ‘sorry’ excuse this kind of behaviour?

Three stars behaving badly are grabbing your attention today.

Here’s Kanye West at the MTV VMAs. (I’ll warn you, if your cringe threshold is low, you may want to watch this through your fingers.)

He’s since apologised, blogging that, “I’m soooo sorry to Taylor Swift, her fans and her mom.’

Here’s Serena Williams getting very upset with a line judge who called her for a foot fault.

According to the NY Post, on ‘a CBS video that was not broadcast, (Serena) said, “If I could, I would take this [bleeping] ball and shove it down your [bleeping] throat.” The BBC’s not reporting that quote (though plenty of other news organisations are running the same quote) but either way she was very very angry. And here she is explaining it.

Here’s Emmanuel Adebayor running the length of the field after he scored for Man City against his old club Arsenal (footage courtesy of someone in the crowd). I’m not sure about the rights set up – so here’s the link and you can watch it on YouTube.

He’s been condemned by local police for provoking violence. Straight after the game he said sorry.

And the last week we had Joe Wilson. Working in a quite different arena to the other three, he shouted ‘You lie’ at President Obama last week during his healthcare speech. The congressman from South Carolina, has since said: “I extend sincere apologies to the president for this lack of civility.”

All four examples show public figures expressing themselves with passion if nothing else. Three have said sorry, and Serena seems to regret it too. Is that enough to forgive them and move on? Or does this kind of behaviour diminish your view of the individuals involved? Would you wish to see them punished (Serena’s already been fined)? Do they deserve stronger recriminations?

Or, especially when it comes to music and sport, do we need to accept an element of pantomine and not get too upset by these kind of events?

115 Responses to “On air: Does ‘sorry’ excuse this kind of behaviour?”

  1. 1 patti in cape coral
    September 14, 2009 at 14:27

    Isn’t this Kanye West’s trademark, being rude, loud, etc? It just confirms what I already thought, just feel bad that Taylor Swift’s night was ruined.

    This reminds me of that recording of Christian Bale behaving abominably to a stage hand (?) . Me and my daughter had a big crush on him that ended after listening to that tirade, but in a way, it’s good for people to see that actors are not always at all like the characters they portray. I think we get a false sense of knowing famous people because we see them all the time on TV, movie screen, stage, etc., but we really don’t know them at all.

  2. 2 steve
    September 14, 2009 at 14:42

    Can someone please describe the Kanye west video for those who cannot view videos? People have always behaved poorly, but now with everyone having cameras on their cell phones, it’s just easier to capture these moments. I remember John McEnroe constantly yelling at officials in Tennis matches. that’s what he was famous for.

    • 3 patti in cape coral
      September 14, 2009 at 16:47

      @ Steve – Basically, while Taylor Swift was giving her acceptance speech, he got on stage and took the microphone from her hands, and said that he would let Taylor finish in a bit, but he just needed to say Beyonce’s video was the best video. I read that later, when it was Beyonce’s turn to be on stage, she invited Taylor Swift up to finish her acceptance speech. Ms. Swift was interviewed later, I think, and said something like, “First I was really excited because I won, then I was really excited because Kanye West was on stage with me, then I heard what he was saying and I wasn’t so excited.” This is all hearsay from internet sources, I didn’t actually see the awards.

  3. 4 Dan
    September 14, 2009 at 14:50

    “I’m Sorry” is simply 7 letter arranged into two words and have become meaningless.

    Serial killers after having murdered many victims say “I’m Sorry” and walk away, Drunk drivers after having killed an innocent say “I’m Sorry” and expect all to be forgiven and celebrities are the absolute worst thinking they are empowered above us all and can say “I’m Sorrry” and pretend to pay money to some obscure charity and all is forgiven.

    Absent an act of contrition simply saying “I’m Sorry” is totally meaningless.

    No matter what Kayne West says, he can never ressurrect what was a once in a lifetime experience for Taylor Swift and his act of contrition should be to lose his career.

  4. 5 Jennifer
    September 14, 2009 at 14:53

    I am sorry that Taylor Swift’s moment was ruined. She is very talented and deserved respect for the award that she won. I don’t think “sorry” excuses this behavior.

    Kanye West; he needs an attitude adjustment. Like Patti, I think it’s good that stars have these real moments and we can see how they really are. I sure won’t be buying anything with his name attached to it.

  5. September 14, 2009 at 14:54

    Hi all, Leanne from WHYS here. Here is Kanye West’s official apology in full as posted on his blog…

    “i’m sooooo sorry to taylor swift and her fans and her mom. i spoke to her mother right after and she said the same thing my mother would’ve said. she is very talented! i like the lyrics about being a cheerleader and she’s in the bleachers! …………………… i’m in the wrong for going on stage and taking away from her moment!…………….. beyonce’s video was the best of this decade!!!! i’m sorry to my fans if i let you guys down!!!! i’m sorry to my friends at mtv. i will apologize to taylor 2mrw. welcome to the real world!!!! everybody wanna booooo me but i’m a fan of real pop culture!!! no disrespect but we watchin’ the show at the crib right now cause … well you know!!!! i’m still happy for taylor!!!! boooyaaawwww!!!! you are very very talented!!! i gave my awards to outkast when they deserved it over me… that’s what it is!!!!!!! i’m not crazy yall, i’m just real. sorry for that!!! i really feel bad for taylor and i’m sincerely sorry!!! much respect!!!!!”

    What do you make of this apology? Sincere or a public relations stunt/obligation? Moving forward or backtracking? Is everything okay now that he’s written this?

    • 7 Nanci
      September 14, 2009 at 15:27

      I take from it that he’s a babbling so and so that can’t write very well.

      And I wonder if he was under the influence of an illegal substance when he wrote it. It doesn’t make sense.

      I hope Taylor Swift’s mom ripped him a new one.

  6. 8 Nanci
    September 14, 2009 at 14:57

    I was disappointed by Serena Williams. I won’t look at her in the same way after this. I had no idea she had such a bad temper. She’s a great tennis player, but a bad sport. I was really surprised by her behavior.

    Kayne’s apology will never bring that moment back for Taylor Swift. He really was out of line. She won, she was giving her speech, being humble and Kayne just went after her. He’s a bully.

  7. 10 T
    September 14, 2009 at 14:57

    It’s sad to see all the racist comments in Serena William’s case. So she gets fined $10,000 and misses some tournaments. No sponsors will drop her and life will go on.

  8. September 14, 2009 at 14:58

    Such kind of behavior is only likely to increase tension among fans.

  9. 13 Andrew in Australia
    September 14, 2009 at 14:59

    Sorry never does. It is my belief that sorry only comes after you find yourself in a situation where you have much (money and fame) to lose. If you are a decent person you wouldn’t act is such a deplorable manner as these examples have shown. As for Williams, despite everyone having heard her tirade and threats the first thing she did was to deny it.. oh no I didn’t say that! And to later blow it off with an I regret that is even more dispicable. You regret it because it made you look bad and showed your true colours. But this is what we get when we pander to these types of people, pamper them, over indulge them and excuse every excess. But of course they are stars, heroes, etc so we can’t hold them to account. If you or I, or a BBC employee went on such a tirade and threatened to kill another staff member I am sure they would be talking to police and certainly not asked to return to work the next day. But as always (in the Williams example) it will be excused because she has wealth and fame as do the others. There is no place for this in this day and age especially in such a public forum.

    September 14, 2009 at 15:05

    I think that each case should be examined to see whether it is merited. Organizations should make sure that participants understand that they have a social responsibility by making them accountable to laid out rules. Fines are ok and expulsion where necessary. In addition to that, they should be made to understand that an organization should be larger than any individual.

    Having said that, it will be difficult to avoid repeat of such behavior because sometimes the audience support organizations that promote cultures of pedestrian behavior and irresponsible utterances.

  11. 15 Irene Hoe
    September 14, 2009 at 15:06

    At least the others are savvy enough to say the S word. Serena Williams hasn’t even been able to do that. A $10,000 fine is nothing to her. She needs to be barred from the doubles final or to have her tournament prize money forfeited. That should hurt enough to help her mature.

    It was astonishing to hear her say at the press conference that she was young and cared about her job as if this excused what she did and said.

    Let her take lessons from someone like Rafael Nadal. He is far younger than she is. And he knows how to handle victory and defeat like the true sportsman
    he is. At his press conference, he flatly refused to blame injury for his straight-sets defeat and emphasized several times that it was his opponent had played better on the day.

    That brought to mind another Serena Willaims press conference at which she nfamously said that her opponent hadn’t beaten her, but that she had beaten herself.

    For all the trophies she has amassed, she is not yet a true champion, just an athlete who can win matches.

  12. 16 Sophia
    September 14, 2009 at 15:19

    Kanye West’s decision to go up on stage and express his personal opinion on what he thought was the best video among them all, was totally uncalled for. If he felt so strongly about who should have won, the VMA was certainly not the platform for him to say that, especially when the person nominated was still on stage. He should at least have had the courtesy to wait and let Taylor enjoy her moment of receiving the award before he went on stage and humiliated her. I think its for taylor to decide whether or not ‘I’m sorry’ is something that makes up for the how Kanye West behaved towards her on stage.

  13. 17 anu_d
    September 14, 2009 at 15:22

    Serial, chronic , offenders cannot say sorry and get away.

    For the restt….I would look at the track record of these offenders and if it’s an occasional one-off, I would accept the apology…they are human like us and can have odd ocassions when emotions and passions go out of hand.
    No big deal !

  14. 19 Chintan in Houston
    September 14, 2009 at 15:37

    Rage is a human emotion just like happiness or sorrow. Celebrities are always under the media microscope and every little thing they do is blown up because that is news and its makes for a sensational story. If it wasn’t so WHYS would not cover it.
    Sorry – it is not a word which is a trademark of celebrities alone. Almost everyone in their lives have used it at some point of time.

  15. 20 Denise in Chicago
    September 14, 2009 at 15:43

    No, no, no!! A meaningless apology does not excuse boorish behavior. So many celebrities and athletes seem to think their star status absolves them from conducting themselves in a civilized manner. Perhaps if the press and the public stopped fawning over these undeserving “children”, they might be forced to be accountable for their actions.

  16. September 14, 2009 at 15:46

    There’s been quite a storm of Youtube reactions, here’s an example of one (warning, there is some strong language): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyV-0HkhBAA

  17. 22 John in Salem
    September 14, 2009 at 15:50

    We all say and do things we regret and have to apologize for and celebrities are no different, but when “sorry” is an acceptable excuse for being cruel it becomes an insult in itself and a blank check for bad behavior.
    In the case of West, who is known for being a jerk, it is MTV who should apologize to Swift.

  18. 23 Robz
    September 14, 2009 at 15:55

    No apology excuses bad behavior or poor judgement.If you are a politician or a professional in any field:sports,entertainment,or business.You should always conduct yourself in a respectful manor when working.
    People making an ass of themselves in the media is happening more and more.I think it’s horrible,commedians being funny is one thing,athelets and politicians&singers disrutpting speaches,award ceremonies and confronting judges&reff’s at sporting events is wrong.
    People who do so,set a bad example for younger people.
    This includes t.v. reality shows.
    Rob in Florida.

  19. 24 vijay pillai
    September 14, 2009 at 15:57

    It may be in africa not in any civilised western world.

  20. 25 patti in cape coral
    September 14, 2009 at 16:00

    It is really disappointing to see how many celebrities write worse than fifth-graders would, and I’m not just talking about punctuation or typos, which happens to everyone, I’m talking about stringing sentences together that actually make sense! Oh well, I type for a living, so maybe I’m being too harsh…

    • September 15, 2009 at 07:12

      Not at all you are absolutely right (or write) with the deplorable standard of English and other education today. Thanks to everybody trying to write, whether they have the facility or not.

  21. 27 Roy, Washington DC
    September 14, 2009 at 16:06

    A few years ago, an NFL player here in the USA mimicked mooning the crowd, and was fined $10,000 for it. He was then quoted as saying “What’s ten grand to me?”, followed by a joking suggestion that next time, he would do something even more vulgar (I’ve seen the video, and I’ll leave it at that).

    If you’re rich and famous here in the USA, you can pretty much do whatever you want to.

  22. September 14, 2009 at 16:16

    On does ‘sorry’ excuse this kind of behaviour?

    You should only expect Singers,sports people, entertainers&artists to do their thing and nothing else,one shouldn’t expect them to be rolemodels.

    Politicians on the other are elected or appointed officials and represent their constituents and/or state,so they should be held to a higher standard,there has to be a good excuse to over ride the protocol of civility.
    Wilson represents the reactionary right wing white southern gun toting male who feels disenfranchised by women and minorities advancing in society.

    Has WHYS covered the “Tea Party”phenomenon in the states ?

  23. September 14, 2009 at 16:25

    It is better to avoid an action which you will eventually regret.

  24. 30 Tom K in Mpls
    September 14, 2009 at 16:28

    It’s the same for them as for anyone. Unless it is between friends, most of the time it is just politically correct posturing.

  25. 31 steve
    September 14, 2009 at 16:37

    @ Vijay,
    the infamous “gun toting” person who carried the gun at the obama speech was a black man.

  26. September 14, 2009 at 16:41

    Does ‘Sorry’ excuse this kind of behaviour?
    Not in Joe Wilsons case he has to do a lot more to make amends,he has to do some kind of penance,given the racial history of the US and South Carolina.
    Joe Wilson would not qualify as a Southern Gentleman,more likely red neck cracker,he is pro the Confederate Flag (stars and bars) and Confederate heritage,you half suspect him to say the “South will rise again” (he is a graduate of Washington&Lee after all)

  27. September 14, 2009 at 16:54

    you know, its now become norm for these grown up men and women to act irresponsible and childish, I watched the Arsenal Mancity Game, and I must say, Adebayor’s behaviors were so un professional, savage, and shouldn’t be condoned in any sport or for any sports man or woman. when I re-watched the video where Adebayor stamped vanpersie, i saw clearly that it was a deliberate attempt, and this was confirmed by his ridiculously insulting celebration. And as for Kanye west, gosh, he is a medical case, seriously, He needs to be remanded in a mental hospital, that was very senseless of him to do. I would sympathize with serena though, the ump was wrong, she called a false foul, and from the way things were going (with serena almost losing) she reacted, though those out bursts are still unsporting.

    September 14, 2009 at 16:58

    No Way is an apology right. Big Fine needed for both these people.

    What’s next Tiger “Bustin a cap” on the ninth hole of St Andrews?

  29. 35 Andrew in Australia
    September 14, 2009 at 17:00

    So Williams said that the comments were made in the heat of battle! What battle, I mean really if you begin to take these excuses seriously where does it end up. Oh it wasn’t mean to be taken seriously. Watching the incident over and over again, waving a weapon (her racquet) at someone and threatining a physical assault is hardly something to be taken lightly. The standards in society are being eroded in so many ways that we do not need those who are presumabely professional and definitely looked up to and emulated to be acting in this way and accordingly they must be held to account for their behaviour. Fines for these multi-millionaire sportspeople are meaningless. Ban Williams from tennis effective immediately to send a message out there to the wider community.

  30. 36 Bert - USA
    September 14, 2009 at 17:05

    Just people showing their true colors. Just because these examples happen to be particularly talented at something does not make them superhuman. Only the media create a superhuman image of them. They are just regular peple, their talent aside, who behave like any number of other regular people behave.

    I think the bigger problem is when we want to make role models of these folk. That is the real mistake.

    For example, does anyone really find Serena’s behavior to be unusual? Never witnessed that attitude before? Really? I would find that astounding.

  31. 37 Dave in Florida
    September 14, 2009 at 17:15

    Kanye West is just another punk who believes he is above having to abide by any rules and regulations, and that being rude is “cool.” Of course if you happen to not agree with him — you’re just not “hip.” West’s fans are loving his actions.

    Can you imagine if someone would have done to Beyonce what he did to Taylor Swift? West and his possie would have taken care of them right there on stage, because only West is “cool” enough to do that.

    The word “sorry” should be removed from the dictionary. It means nothing.

  32. 39 KC
    September 14, 2009 at 17:41

    Celebrities have a duty to behave respectably in public. Passion should be sacrificed for civility.

  33. 40 EchoRose
    September 14, 2009 at 17:50

    In the case of Kanye West, NO, sorry doesn’t cut it. By dissing a beloved country artist he will most certainly provoke a very racist demographic reaction here in the U.S., and I am more fearful of the race-relation backlash this will have.

  34. 41 Ray
    September 14, 2009 at 17:51

    I’m with chintan on this one. We all over react at some point or another to varying degrees. What serena did happens with many people who aren’t in the spotlight. But what we should hope is that the contrition holds and they learn from their mistakes. I’m disappointed but as Jesus said in the Bible, let he who has not sinned cast the first stone.

  35. 42 Mark Benner
    September 14, 2009 at 17:53

    There is very little accountability in our world today – taking this story beyond this weekend’s examples – No one in the U.S. government has apologized for misrepresenting the information it used to justify the invasion of Iraq – or the authorization of torture and abuse – and no one in Congress (Or Great Britain which cooperated with the Bush admin in those ventures.) has stepped forward to hold those who committed these crimes accountable.
    What these entertainers did had very little harmful affects beyond their own reputation.
    To focus on entertainment celebrities while ignoring the examples set by our national leaders is ignoring a big part of the problem. We could take these eaxamples to the economic crash as well – here in the U.S. we are actually funding the very people who caused the mortgage crisis to fix it – by covering their criminal acts and renegotiating the loans. many of the CEO’s who oversaw this collapse simply took th emoney and ran.
    No responsibility no accountability starts at the top.
    These entertainment figures have at least apologized – I don’t see that from Bush, Cheney or Blair – nor are the Wall Street moguls apologizing. Nor are they being tried for their abuses – which should be part fo the process for people who have committed criminal acts.

  36. 43 Lisa from Pennsylvania, US
    September 14, 2009 at 18:03

    This is an epidemic across the world and certainly with in the U.S. If you’ll remember we JUST had a scandal involving a Republican shouting out “you lie” during Obama’s speech. Allowing famous athletes, singers, and politicians to get away with whatever they want as long as they apologize later sets a bad example for everyone else.

  37. September 14, 2009 at 18:06

    These ‘stars’ are supposed to be role models and when they misbehave they set very bad examples to the millions of youngsters who worship them for their talent. The tennis stars should take a leaf from Kim Clijsters book. She is so exemplary.

  38. 45 Jessica in NYC
    September 14, 2009 at 18:06

    Being ill behaved is a way of life for the rich and famous who feel that laws and common curtsey does not apply to them. If anything their rude antics, only increase their press coverage and global recognitions—and after all “no pres is bad press” when they make more money by being globally recognized.

    Case in point, I was unaware of this incident until I saw it on the BBC WHYS blog.

  39. 46 themoi
    September 14, 2009 at 18:07

    As Maya Angelou says “When somebody shows you their true colors, believe them”. These people have shown us what and who they are. We should not believe they will improve in any way, shape or form.

    As for entertainers behaving badly, too much money and too much fame goes to their heads and they think they are above everybody else in behavior.

    Not so. Watch for the backlash on West.

  40. 47 Faridon Dadrass
    September 14, 2009 at 18:09

    Kanye West needs to get over himself and stop being a jerk. Be a gentleman Kanye, Be a gentleman

  41. 48 Todd in Atlanta
    September 14, 2009 at 18:09

    Serena had a moment of anger, and expressed her frustration, like anyone else would. As far as I know, this is the first time I’ve seen or heard of this, and she hasn’t done this repeatedly like another tennis icon I know… John MacCenroe… whose outbursts are celebrated today in comedy routines and tv ads where he plays himself!

    Kanye West on the other hand, has done this repeatedly, and his apology SHOULD NOT be accepted! He should be recommended for therapy, his continuous erratic behavior is not to be coddled or put-up with especially since it’s very deliberate, impulsive, and disruptive.

  42. 49 steve
    September 14, 2009 at 18:10

    It didn’t show “passion” on the part of Kanye West, it showed immaturity and a lack of respect for the other performer who was giving her acceptance speech.

  43. 50 John Doe
    September 14, 2009 at 18:10

    it saddens me to see adebayor acting this way.
    i’ll always respect him for his contributions to arsenal.
    it just makes me mad that he had to, unecissarily, rub it in arsenal’s face.

    he’s a better player then that.
    he’s a better person then that.

  44. 51 kate
    September 14, 2009 at 18:12

    I think that West’s actions are typical of where we have ended up – everyone is out for ego gratification and up staging! His apology is to little and too late!

  45. 52 Todd in Atlanta
    September 14, 2009 at 18:14

    Kanye West is ‘real’ alright!

    Real ignorant.
    Real stupid.
    Real immature.
    Real unstable.
    …and really in need of some help.

  46. 54 joanne (Trinidad & Tobago
    September 14, 2009 at 18:16

    There really must have been something in the air this weekend….whatever it was…both Serena Williams and Kanye West contracted the virus. Now they are both extending meaningless apologies for unforgivable behaviour. Well I say…not good enough.

    Having “passion” for your cause cannot and must not be used as a justification for simple bad behaviour. Kanye West stole Taylor Swift’s moment of glory and no apology will bring that back. As for Serena Williams…we all get bad calls in life, whether real or imagined……deal with it because that is life

  47. 55 margaret
    September 14, 2009 at 18:16

    Everybody makes mistakes; everyone needs to apologize. But these outbursts (either “spontaneous” or calculated) make for a HUGE amount of media attention–some of the apologies are not really apologies. Many people in our culture (the US) especially if they are politicians, celebrities, or other people in positions of power seem to believe that the rules don’t apply to them and they can do whatever they want; saying I’m sorry will make it all better. The “you lie” shout out from Congressman Wilson has gotten more air time and commentary than the President’s speech!

    Margaret Tacoma, WA

  48. 56 steve
    September 14, 2009 at 18:19

    While the Serena williams thing is not good, this is a bit overblown. It’s not like she started throwing punches. You see bench clearning brawls in baseball and hockey all the time, and the fans love this, and lots of people watch hockey just for the fighting, and nobody ever apologizes. They get a short penalty, one side gets an extra penalty for instigating the fight, and then the game continues on. Why are some sports considered “classy” and others are not and thus we expect different sorts of decorum from the participants?

    I mean, really, do you have idea what the offensive and defensive line players on a US football team are saying to each other while waiting for the ball to be snapped? I assure you, the things he’s saying about your sister is not very nice.

  49. 57 Belinda in NC
    September 14, 2009 at 18:20

    Of course stars are human. Humans, when they have a meltdown, have to accept the consequences of their behavior. So, if they want to be accepted and treated as humans, let them join the crowd and accept consequences. If I displayed the behavior of any of these examples at my job, I’d be sacked! Saying sorry is important, but unless the statement is accompanied by an acceptance of responsibility and working through the consequences, it is insufficient.

  50. 58 Anthony
    September 14, 2009 at 18:21

    Kanye West is such a narcissist. If someone was to do that to HIM, oh my goodness, he would have the biggest fit! I thought it was funny that he was about as tall as Swift.

    P.S., he’s not smart enough to have done it for the benefit of all 3 artists.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  51. September 14, 2009 at 18:22

    I was really impressed with how Beyonce handled it. Very classy.

  52. 60 Julie
    September 14, 2009 at 18:23

    I’m from the California in the United States and embarrassed that two of these incidents involved Americans. The worst one to me is Serena Williams. Tennis is one of the few sports that has kept an element of gentlemanly conduct in today’s say-and-do-anything sports culture. In my opinion, she should be punished more than she already has to send a message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated.

    As for Kanye, most people already knew he was a little crazy, and this just further displayed his lack of self control, regardless of who “everyone” thought should win. I admittedly don’t know much about the soccer scene, but Emmanuel Adebayor’s incident seems like just one more example of a long list of prima donnas in the sport.

  53. 61 Robyn in Kentucky
    September 14, 2009 at 18:23

    Kanye West took some thing from Taylor Swift that can never be replaced. You cannot get that moment back. Sorry even if it is meant cannot makeup for her moment.

    Serena had bad day. It doesn’t excuse the behavior but you can understand it. She did not take anything away from the line judge. But I would like to see a true appology.

    Joe Wilson shows how low we have come in the United States when it comes to a difference of opinion. I see this in my everyday life. Instead of being able to have a discussion on our differences, people lose their tempers at a drop of a hat and begin insulting the other person, preventing any logical discussion.

    While I am sure these people have had a bad day I am sorry that people have begun using any excuse to throw out good manners and consideration for other people.

  54. 62 steve
    September 14, 2009 at 18:24

    “Everyone” is not on twitter, and the opinions of a few people doesn’t determine who the winner of a competition. Especially on some stupid fad website.

    Say if SHE had interupted someone else’s speech? Because other’s agree that she should have won, it’s thus explains away? No, of course not…

    Kanye was was highly immature, and highly disrespectful.

  55. 63 Anthony
    September 14, 2009 at 18:25

    Wait a sec, NOT everyone was thinking that Beyonce should have won! Of COURSE there were people crying on Twitter. If Swift would have lost, there would have been plenty of people crying about that too, thats what the internet is for.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  56. 64 Faridon Dadrass
    September 14, 2009 at 18:25

    Please don’t commend kanye. He already has a big head and he is not worth any praises. He is not a smart person. He is rude and arrogant. He should be banned and he sincerely apologize.

  57. 65 steve
    September 14, 2009 at 18:26

    By just standing there, Taylor showed far more maturity than a man twice her age.

  58. 66 nora
    September 14, 2009 at 18:27

    Serena Williams is a human being in sport. A few fines are part of the deal with adrenalin and sport. No big deal. If she were a hockey player…..

    Sasha Baren-Cohen falling on Em”n”M……..delicious.

    Taylor Swift is learning the Hollywood dictate that there is no bad publicity and she will be able to enjoy lots of new fans from this flap.

    Sorry? I’m with Vijay, let us focus on the nasty, violent tea party people messing with public civil discourse.

  59. 67 steve
    September 14, 2009 at 18:29

    I haven’t seen the video, but if he did grab the microphone from her, and she saw it, he committed assault and battery.

  60. 68 Lisa from Pennsylvania, US
    September 14, 2009 at 18:30

    WHYS- Please stay on topic! Let’s not make this a race issue (because both whites and blacks are in the spotlight for this topic)! I can’t agree with the idea that we’re only upset with Kanye’s actions just because he’s black. I don’t agree with a lot of what Rush Limbaugh says and he’s white!

    • 69 Lisa from Pennsylvania, US
      September 14, 2009 at 18:38

      And now Serena’s skin color is coming into play. Really!?!?! I think this is coming up now when John Mackinrow’s behavior was never as highly analyzed because of the state of the world. This is an issue because a number of public figures have acted out in this way recently, not due to skin color.

  61. 70 steve
    September 14, 2009 at 18:32

    Here’s a good example, here in DC, if Alex Overchin got into a huge fight on ice, nobody would care. It would be on national TV, children would have seen it, some huge brawl, on the ice. People would like him even more. It completely depends on the sport. However if he committed a drunk driving offense, then yes, people would look at him negatively.

  62. 71 Brian from NYC
    September 14, 2009 at 18:32

    I think that this is more of an issue of looking into each situation: Serena Williams did a John Mackenro. Was it out of line? Yes. But this is sports, this happens. Kanye West is a primadonna who is unafraid to speak his mind, as he has proved on numerous occasions. While it is unfortunate that Taylor Swift was put in a rough spot, I think many people agreed with Kanye’s opinion. I don’t like his behavior, but I do agree with what he said. I don’t always agree with him, but I am glad he is willing to speak out in our at times, overly polite society, that tiptoes around issues. He often makes a fool of himself, so that is it’s own punishment. I do think that the situation with the Football player is a bit different, as he was coming closer to inciting people to violence, which obviously has greater ramifications.

  63. 72 Eric in France
    September 14, 2009 at 18:34

    Maybe they are too well paid and need to to be reminded that they MUST behave. As they are public figures and potentially row models, there is no sorry acceptable. Maybe they think that they are too big to fall. Well, actions should be tougher than currently applied.

  64. 73 Ryan in Edmonton
    September 14, 2009 at 18:35

    I don’t care how passionate these people are about either thier thoughts or actions, these people need to exercise a certain level of restraint, just like how all the rest of us do. If i was incredibly passionate about my local sports team and someone insulted them, does that give me the right to punch them? No, this is because i am expected to show some restraint.

    In the case of Kanye West, i don’t care how much he felt that Beyonce deserved the award, I am sure there were many other people that felt the same way, but did you see them all rush the stage to say it? This is what he could have used his blog for, to state his dissapointment, which is quite ironic, as this is the form of media he decided to use to apologize. So he must expect people to be reading it.

  65. 74 Rhoda in the United States
    September 14, 2009 at 18:36

    It is disgusting that these rich people get away with verbal abuse, physical abuse and just being plain rude. I am convenced they have no home training. All they have to to is say “Oh, I am sooooo sorry, blah,blah,blah….” It is every where and even in our politics! Where is the respect? I bet a regular Joe would get the book thrown at him had he pulled a stunt like that.

  66. 75 Tom D Ford
    September 14, 2009 at 18:36

    It’s all theatre isn’t it?

    Much ado about not very much at all.

    It’s just entertainment.

    “Sorry” I don’t care much about it.


  67. 76 Daniel
    September 14, 2009 at 18:37

    There is a way to reprimand individuals who act this way. We as consumers need to remember we have the power to buy or not buy the music of an individual, to voice our opposition to the sponsors of sports stars. If we were to respond in mass and hit these individuals in the pocket book through our decisions and actions, individuals that rely on our dollars would quickly fall into line.

  68. 77 Lew in Ohio
    September 14, 2009 at 18:39

    No sorry yet here for Serena but she should be punished either way. Your guest is of course playing the race card. I wish they would put those away. This was a verbal threat. The other blow ups by tennis stars was pertained to the incident not to personally threaten harm. I don’t think she faulted by the way I was watching live.

  69. 78 Julia in Portland
    September 14, 2009 at 18:40

    People are passionate – we all make mistakes – but I think the truth is in when, how, where the apology comes.

    I think that Serena didn’t apologize, Kanye realized in the aftermath but did go straight to Taylor’s mother and apologized.

    Joe Wilson on the other hand pretty much did what is tantamount to retracting his apology by his actions after the fact.

    So where am I on this, Serena still doesn’t understand how she was responsible for what happened, Kanye is aware that he screwed-up, Joe Wilson wants to use his own bad behavior to promote his campaign.

    Bad on you, Joe Wilson and Serena.

  70. 79 Brian from NYC
    September 14, 2009 at 18:40

    Ok, if one is going to take a job as an official in ANY sport, even a “civilized” one like Tennis, one has to be prepared that people are going to get very angry sometimes.

  71. 80 Belinda in NC
    September 14, 2009 at 18:44

    By the way, if you listen to the BBC video with Serena – she DID accept the consequences of the situation and expressed thankfulness that she has the youth and physical fitness to continue competing long enough to demonstrate different behavior. As for apologizing to the line judge – if I were the line judge, I would appreciate a personal apology from Serena more than a disingenuous one at a press conference. We don’t, nor should we, know if Serena has done that. Serena demonstrated exactly what I was talking about in my previous post – good for her!

  72. 81 Justin from Denver, USA
    September 14, 2009 at 18:45

    I found it interesting that World Have Your Say is covering this topic today. Yesterday in Church our Pastor brought up the example of Serena’s actions as it related to the series we are studying currently.

    We are going through the ancient book of First Kings, in the Old Testament of the Bible, and focusing specifcally on the begining of Solomon’s reign as King of the ancient nation of Isreal. Solomon was an unparalleled man of wisdom. Serena’s actions came up in the sermon because, well, her actions, in that moment at least, were foolish. I opinion is that we shouldn’t make excuses for ourselves- celebrity or not. We all, at the very least, have times when we make foolish decisions. Instead to saying, “hey, I’m just human”, admit that being just human involves foolishness and that that is a shortcoming to be sorry about. In the end all of these actions of late, by people in the public eye should remind themselves and us that we need wisdom that often cannot come from within- it should remind us that we need to depend on God for wisdom ( and if it hasn’t been implied, I’m talking about the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob.

  73. 82 Real Talk
    September 14, 2009 at 18:46

    The Kanye interruption was nothing more than a publicity stunt, planned and orchestrated by MTV. Anyone who falls for this hooplah is drinking the Kool-aid big time.

  74. 83 Anthony
    September 14, 2009 at 18:48

    Lol @ steve

    Thats assault and battery… that’s a lawyer for you.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  75. 84 Barrington
    September 14, 2009 at 18:52

    RE: Kanye West

    Taylor should have never been on the stage. The MTV awards is
    for the black talent that dominates the industry. Taylor should
    be honored by Nashville.

    • 85 patti in cape coral
      September 14, 2009 at 20:12

      Kanye West should never have been on the stage. The MTV awards is for the white talent that dominates the industry. West should have been honored only by BET.

      Do you see how foolish you sound?

    • 86 Bert - USA
      September 14, 2009 at 20:29

      MTV awards are for black talent??

      That’s the first I ever heard of such a thing!

    • 87 patti in cape coral
      September 15, 2009 at 00:06

      OK, sorry WHYS, let me rephrase – Barrington, I think you might be confusing MTV with BET.

  76. 88 Kate M.
    September 14, 2009 at 18:54

    Kayne West is doing whatever it takes to keep his name in the headlines, no matter who it hurts. I would call him pathetic but I do not believe he is worhty of pity.

  77. 89 Gloria in Oregon
    September 14, 2009 at 18:58

    I agree. Kanye West’s repugnant behavior was definitely akin to “stepping on a kitten”, or “taking candy from a child”. Perhaps Kanye would do well to review the video and sincerely look at the expression on Taylor Swift’s face. IF he has empathy and compassion, then perhaps (Hopefully!) he will realize how arrogant, obnoxious, rude, and cruel he was.

  78. 90 Rhoda in the United States
    September 14, 2009 at 19:05

    Oh my goodness. Stop pulling the race card people. Not every thing is black and white; get over it already and grow up. The race card is old and worn out, Please move on. Serena was being disrespectful, period. There is a chain of command every where you go even in sports and entertainment so if Serena or any one for that matter can’t control the temper then I sugguest they seek deep, professional, mental help because they apparently need help acting like an adult. People need to stop blaming race, other factors and other people for their own actions and take your punishment like a real man/woman. It has nothing to do with race, the judge called a shot and because Serena did not like it she decied to blow up like a little child and threaten the judge instead of acting like an adult athlete by professionaly addressing the judge in a proper manner. She needs to apoligize and move on for crying out loud. There is a time and place for everything but disrespect fits nowhere.

  79. 91 steve
    September 14, 2009 at 19:13

    @ Barrington

    So I suppose those Beastie Boys videos I watched on MTV was of blacks? It’s MUSIC TELEVISION, she is a performer, and won the award. That some aren’t mature enough to handle that is not her problem.

  80. 92 steve
    September 14, 2009 at 19:20

    I finally watched it. I think that was staged.. Otherwise he’s possibly liable for assault and battery for grabbing hte microphone… Something tells me it was a setup, she knew it was coming. Kinda of like professional wrestling drama. It’s not real.

  81. 95 Raymond Mwanza
    September 14, 2009 at 19:31

    Don’t bother hastling these petulent children on air. Discipline them where it will hurt most. Tax part of their pay for a year and donate it to a charity of the abused choice. Then we’ll know they are sorry!

  82. 96 Michelle from Jamaica
    September 14, 2009 at 19:43

    This seem a bit out of character for Serena, but I think we are prolonging something that should die. She lost it, we all do sometmes, understandable. Better judgement should have prelavailed. I’t all part of the game.

    Kanye West on the other hand is just an ass.

    Race has nothing to do with either of these cases!! U insecure people need to stop pusing that card.

  83. 97 Bill In Bermuda
    September 14, 2009 at 19:45

    For the record I’m no fan of Serena William, Kanye West or Adebayor as I don’t really follow tennis, football or rap music.

    However, like most people a lack of knowledge does not prevent me from having an opinion!

    Serena’s outburst, although in poor taste, particularly for a tennis player at major international event was at least a genuine response, whether borne from frustration or a perceived injustice. It was not a premeditated act. An apology to the line judge is warranted and the fine is appropriate but nothing more should come from this.

    Adebayor’s act was in my opinion premeditated. It obviously relied on him scoring a goal, but once he did he knew exactly where he was headed. I can understand taunting those fans in a way. He must have suffered taunting from thousands of those fans and how often will he get a chance to get even? So his actions are unprofessional, but he was booked and the next time he falls over and grabs his ankle he’ll probably be suspended.

    Kanye West’s behavior is inexcusable. Even if you agree with his opinion about the video, the last thing that silly little man is doing is keeping it real! Picking on 17year old high school students is hardly gansta.

  84. 98 steve
    September 14, 2009 at 21:06

    Still think it’s staged, but, look at this picture

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/09/14/kanye.west.reaction/index.html , in the picture he’s touching her, and the microphone, grabbing it out of her hand, with her seeing it. Assault and battery if this were not staged.

  85. 99 William Lowe
    September 14, 2009 at 21:46

    I’d like to comment first on the remark that one of your guests made about Kanye West. He (Kanye) said something to the effect that “when you see white people taking things it is called trying to survive, but when you see black people taking things, it it called looting” (this was in regards to the Katrina disaster). Well, first, it is called looting due to the nature of the things being taken. Most of the “looters were taking things like T.V’s, Radios, computers, DVD’s, DVD players, etc. These are not things that are required to satisfy primary needs (food, clothing, etc.) The second thing that I’d like to comment on is the professional athletes and their behavior. It is my stark opinion that NO ONE!!!!!, in any circumstances, should get paid for playing a game. Especially the outrageous salaries that these people are paid!!!! If these people were forced to get a job that actually benefited the society in which they live, they would not behave like the spoiled brats that they are now. There is not excuse for behaving like that in public. I think that these big headed self made bourgeoisie should be reigned in and brought back down to planet earth with the rest of us. Thanks, Will.

  86. 100 Jonathan Doe
    September 15, 2009 at 01:04

    Personally I would have preferred that Beyonce win the award because I like her music better. However Taylor Swift won it and so she deserves it. If Kanye disagrees, well that’s his opinion but that doesn’t give him any right to impose his personal tastes on everyone else and spoil the moment for the rightful award winner. Kanye as all human beings should learn not to be rude.

  87. September 15, 2009 at 04:28

    I believe that those who have been placed in visible positions in our society give tacit consent for their behavior to be scrutinized by those they allow to idolize them. They alone are responsible for a heightened awareness of how their behavior, as a representation of our own, can be judged by the whole. However, I think we should all take care to consider how we would like to have our misgivings publicly scrutinized and evaluated on a regular basis.

    I do not, by any means, find the actions of those used as examples here to be tastful or representative of the kind of behavior that i would hope for in my fellow human beings. However I can acknowledge that these people are in fact, human beings – who make mistakes, as we all are and do. I wonder if we are perhaps the ones to blame for putting ordinary people with extraordinary talent on this pedestal of supposed supreme morality, and for assuming that those who we’ve deemed famous are anything more than human.

    September 15, 2009 at 06:04

    I Really am not familiar with this Mr. West chap but when playing tennis he should be more dignified. And another thing why is he wearing a women’s outfit?

  89. September 15, 2009 at 08:10

    Right steve! It was all a conspiracy to get Kanye to make a total idiot of himself.

  90. 104 Deb from Ohio
    September 15, 2009 at 10:27

    I think we need to consider these actions as a part of the bigger picture. Outbursts like these are expected of children, not professional adults, and if the apologies are accepted the people learn nothing.

    We as a society are sliding down a slippery slope straight into a community where nobody has regard for anyone else. It is all id, to put it in Freudian terms, with no superego controlling which thoughts make it out of our mouths. If we cannot control what we say, how are we expected to control what we do? If I punch someone in the mouth, then apologize, will you forgive me because I was passionate about what was going on? Consider these verbal punches, then reassess your stand on whether the apology was enough.

  91. 105 Dennis Junior
    September 15, 2009 at 12:37

    NO…Saying sorry does not excused this type of behaviour…

    =Dennis Junior=

  92. 106 scmehta
    September 15, 2009 at 13:44

    I think it was preplanned and done intentionally; it was very insulting. So why say sorry and be also declared a hypocrite.

  93. 107 Dinka Aliap Chawul-Kampala,Uganda
    September 15, 2009 at 14:53

    Some people intensionally do something wrong but hoping that he/she might use sorry to sugar-coated his/her wrongdoing.

  94. 108 John in Salem
    September 15, 2009 at 15:59

    I heard a comment last night from a friend, someone who is given to seeing things in black and white terms.
    He said that if the award were being accepted by a black woman other than Beyonce, West wouldn’t have done it, and if it were a black woman accepting the award and a white performer did what West did the discussion would be all about race instead of just manners.

  95. 109 Barrington
    September 15, 2009 at 20:55

    Why are you all surprised that Mr. West acted in such an egregious manner? Are you not guilty of judging him by your lily white metrics?
    Mr. West acted in what is considered normal, and acceptable conduct
    for his culture.

    • 110 patti in cape coral
      September 16, 2009 at 14:22

      @ Barrington – I for one am not surprised by Mr. West’s manner because it is his trademark, not a trademark for all people of that “culture.” Beyonce is the one that acted in what is considered normal and acceptable conduct for her “culture.”

  96. 111 Tom K in Mpls
    September 16, 2009 at 00:22

    Now for the biggest joke of the whole silly deal, Obama is getting involved. I used to think he was just playing party extremes against each other. The Gates stupidity made me wonder, but now I know. He is a moron with no understanding of the most basic leadership skills.

    It makes me feel only slightly better knowing I voted Libertarian. The other two parties are really getting scary.

  97. 112 Roberto
    September 16, 2009 at 10:06

    RE ” And the last week we had Joe Wilson. “”

    ———— People behaving badly?

    (This video has been removed by the user.)

  98. 113 Joan Belfon
    September 16, 2009 at 23:47

    I am the first to acknowledge our ‘human frailties’ and that we will make mistakes especially in the heat of the moment. However, I’m glad Serena was fined and do hope that she’ll learn better control. She’s not known to behave as she did; it really was a first but she had better be on her best behaviour from now on. With Kanye West I’m finding it very difficult to simply accept his ‘I’m sorry’; I just think what he did was so shameful and lacking in decency and class that I’m hard pressed to accept his sorry. He was so out of order, embarrasing even the person he claimed to be supporting. He ws just rude and obnoxious and I wish that MTV or the music world had some sanctions for such behaviour. How come none of the big names at the awards have not scolded Kanye publicly-Jazy, Eminem,Dr. Dre etc etc…I hate to pull the racist card but if it were someone white behaving like that they would have would have been the first to kick up a fuss and shout racism.

  99. September 19, 2009 at 13:35

    These awards are a cattle market. They represent nothing in terms of culture. They are a free-for-all clownfest anyway.

  100. 115 NSC London
    September 20, 2009 at 20:35

    I’m starting to wonder if Kanye’s on drugs or something? The guy is totally off the rails. That little outburst was embarassing to watch and he must be feeling pretty bad that Obama casually insulted him off camera (that was hilarious!).

    Sidenote, he’s also dating one of the ugliest women on the London fashion scene. Seriously, Russell Brand wouldn’t even go near that bleach blonde freak.

    Kanye, dude. Get some help.

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