Who’s Next to Apologize? The Onion, Hathaway and DKNY…

Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Photo Courtesy of Stuart Miles. Above Promotions Company, Tampa, FL 2013
Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Photo Courtesy of Stuart Miles. Above Promotions Company, Tampa, FL 2013
Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Photo Courtesy of Stuart Miles. Above Promotions Company, Tampa, FL 2013

The week is off to a busy start for brands and their “I’m Sorry” statements. The Onion and Anne Hathaway caused a stir during the 2013 Oscars. Then DKNY squares off with the public and a photographer. It’s not even Wednesday morning yet!

Let’s start with The Onion, a satire website known for targeting news related topics and even making controversial news itself. Remember their “joke” that there was shooting and kids taken hostage at the Capitol in 2011? (After Newton, you would hope they wouldn’t try that “joke” again.) So can we say it’s too far off that they would once again use a child, actress Quvenzhané Wallis, to make a “joke”? More than likely it wasn’t the same person, but who do the staff at The Onion get their ideas and approvals from before going public? Who would really think that it would be acceptable to call a child an inappropriate name like cu** (see article for story and full word) on Twitter during the Academy Awards? Is there any code of conduct at their company? If so, wouldn’t children be on the list to leave alone by now?

Nonetheless, they have felt the wrath of the public. It took less than an hour to remove the tweet, yet the question left lingering by many public relations professionals, why did it take so long for Steve Hannah, the CEO of The Onion, so long to apologize to Ms. Wallis? Also, why was his apology not the first thing the company posted on Twitter the following day?

The Academy Awards are supposed to be about the works by hard-working film professionals, yet crude words and fashion seemed to reign the following morning. Who would have known something so simple as changing a dress would result in Anne Hathaway, winner for her work with Les Miserables, needing to publicly apologize to Valentino? Apparently her last-minute dress change not only caused a stir on the red carpet for her breasts being amplified, but for wearing Prada and not Valentino. A dress selection change seems like no big deal, but someone failed to let Valentino know or Valentino’s team failed to update the media. It now appears as though she left the fashion house hanging after they publicly released a statement indicating she was going to wear a dress by Valentino where she in turn chose Prada.

Compared to the Ms. Wallis issue, the Valentino one seems to be a light issue during the Oscars. But if we were to look at fashion-to-fashion issues, DKNY takes the cake or award for the “I’m Sorry” award. After not coming to an agreement on the pricing for Brandon Staton’s, a New York photographer’s, images for window displays for DKNY, the images appeared in a window display in Thailand. Once Staton found out, he decided to take the issue to Facebook instead of court. He challenged the fashion giant to donate $100,000 to a YMCA in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn instead of paying him for the images. DKNY was quick to respond explaining the mistake and in turn offered to donate $25,000. Since that offer the public has made it clear that their donation was not enough and that another $75,000 should be donated.

Although it’s doubtful the executives at DKNY will offer more, not due to lack of desire, but to prove the point that their company will not be held hostage to the demands of others. With DKNY’s help or not, Staton and others around the world are working hard to raise the additional money that DKNY wouldn’t offer. Check out their Indiegogo campaign here.

DKNY may have immediately and publicly lost the most in front of their fans financially, it is still left to be seen the impact of The Onions’ mistake.

Whew! It’s not even a full week and these brands have kept the internet stirring.

What do you think? Do you agree with the responses to the public for these apologies?

Please comment below with your thoughts. They may be used for future articles.


Above Promotions is a full service publicity, marketing and promotions company, founded with the purpose to serve an array of clients that are looking to expand their presence in the marketplace. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visit http://www.abovepromotions.com today.


Ebony T. Grimsley is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the recent author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation.” To find out more information on the book, please visit http://www.abovepromotions.com or purchase online at Amazon, Booktango and other online bookstores.


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