“If Anyone Was Offended …” by Jason Olsen

Jason Olsen


I want to start with saying I am sorry.
I view this situation as one big lie
I repeated a lot of times.
I immediately knew in this situation that it was wrong.
The last few days have been wrenching.
As a kid, I didn’t understand the power of certain words
and how they can hurt.
I clearly had one drink too many;
I convinced myself that the normal
rules didn’t apply.
But if I did behave as he describes,
I owe him the sincerest apology.
At the time, I said to myself that what I did was OK 
because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first.
I have reflected on and spoken to a variety of people 
who were hurt by my impulsive recounting of a brutal rape.10 
I accepted a free trip to Israel in exchange for a few posts.11 
I do admire Anjelica Huston. I don’t think she’s a shithead.12 
The placement of the border post was a result 
of misunderstanding, not a deliberate act.13 
I am truly sorry that Pistol and Boo were not declared.14 
When I wrote that “this is God’s way 
of thinning the herd,” that’s not what I meant.15 
I believe that every one of God’s creatures was created equal.
Matt, I’ve learned so much for the year, 
I really feel like it’s going to require another book.16 
Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching.
It is now my full-time job.17 
This momentary indiscretion has jeopardized
the most important thing in my life:18 
I wasn’t educated about the subject. 
People got very angry about it.19 
While I don’t remember ever making 
this specific statement and I have never judged others 
by their background or color of their skin, 
that’s not really the point.20 
It is never a word to be used 
by someone who is not black.21 
I apologize for not knowing in advance 
what effect my Tweet could have on you.22 
If I offended him, I apologize.23 
I would like to sincerely apologize
and hope I haven’t offended you and spoiled your life.24 
Although my comments were made in innocence,
I deeply regret the negative effect they’ve had on so many.25 
As most of you know, original Tweet was intended 
to parody the name-calling directed at climate skeptics.26 
I am sorry that this hurt you and others;
that’s not what I was trying to do.27 
I was misguided by shock and awe.28 
What I said in a private moment with my friend, 
who was buying the donuts, was taken out of context.29 
You know, I’m really busted up over this.30 
There is no excuse for it;
and I apologize for having done it.31 
I deeply apologize to the families of the victims 
that my answer came off as insensitive.32 
It takes a great deal of courage for victims to come forward
with their histories, and my hope is that the allegations about me 
that didn’t happen, do not detract from stories that should be heard.33 
It was 2 in the morning and I was ambien tweeting.34 
I’m sorry that you feel harm and hurt, I never meant that.35 
I’m extremely sorry if my comment about my weight
offended anyone.36 
I do apologize—not necessarily to the President— 
but on behalf of much better men than myself.37 
We apologize that a portion of the Jackson Browne song 
“Running on Empty” was used without permission.38 
Anyone who knows me, knows these words don’t reflect who I am.39 
I’d like to apologize to the viewers that I disappointed as well;40 
Needless to say, I didn’t express myself properly.41 
It was unprofessional. I am genuinely sorry.42 
I did not intend to hurt or offend anyone
with my choice of words, but I clearly have.43 
Obviously, calling your child a pig or anything else 
is improper and inappropriate, 
and I apologize to my daughter for that.44 
I so respect all women and regret what happened.45 
Nobody is more disappointed in me than I am.46 
I acted like a person completely out of control
when I was arrested and said things I do not believe to be true.47 
I want to apologize specifically to everyone 
in the Jewish community for the vitriolic 
and harmful words that I said the night I was arrested 
on a DUI charge. 48 
Who anticipates being recorded? 
Imagine the worst moment you have ever had being recorded 
and broadcast to the world and it wasn’t meant to be public.49 
I’ll apologize when hell freezes over. They can fuck off.50 

1 Miley Cyrus, after making statements about her personal experiences making hip-hop music.
2 Lance Armstrong, apologizing for using performance enhancing drugs while winning multiple Tour-de-France cycle races.
3 Kanye West, after jumping onstage and interrupting Taylor Swift at the 2009 Video Music Awards.
Rachel Griffiths, after posting a photo of a new manicure during the 2020 George Floyd protests and the Covid-19 shutdowns. 
Justin Bieber, after multiple six-year-old videos showed him using the word “n—r.”
6 Reese Witherspoon, after she and her husband were arrested for disorderly conduct after a traffic stop. 
Tiger Woods, apologizing after an incident between Woods and his then-wife stemming from his multiple affairs. 
Kevin Spacey, after being accused of making sexual advances toward a 14-year-old boy when Spacey was 26. 
9 Louis CK, in response to multiple accusations of sexual misconduct.
10 Liam Neeson, after telling a story about learning of a friend’s rape and subsequently walking around with a weapon hoping to be instigated by, and subsequently murder, a “black bastard.” 
11 Demi Lovato, after accepting a free trip to Israel paid for by private donors and arranged by the Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs.
12 Jacki Weaver, after saying, “Well, she can go fuck herself,” when Angelica Huston criticized Weaver’s film Poms.
13 A Polish foreign ministry spokesperson, after Poland’s military accidently invaded (and temporarily occupied) a small portion of the Czech Republic near the Polish border in May 2020. 
14 Amber Heard (with then-husband Johnny Depp), after the two were charged by the Australian government for falsifying documents in order to bring their dogs into the country. 
15 Kelly Dodd, after referring to COVID-19 by saying “this is God’s way of thinning the herd.”
16 Paula Deen, apologizing on the Today Show (and to host Matt Lauer) for a workplace discrimination lawsuit that alleged Deen had made racially insensitive comments.
17 Matt Lauer, after being fired from his job at NBC News when an NBC employee filed a complaint against him that alleged “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.”
18 Kristen Stewart, after she cheated on her boyfriend Robert Pattison with the director of one of her films.
19 Robert Pattison, after angering some Batman fans by stating that he didn’t see the character as a superhero. 
20 Lea Michelle, after a former castmate on the television series Glee said Michelle made her time on the show a “living hell.”
21 Alia Shawkat, after a video surfaced of her saying the word “n—r.”
22 Neil DeGrasse Tyson, after tweeting a message that stated, “Often our emotions respond more to spectacle than to data” in regard to public reactions to mass shootings versus more common occurrences of death such as the flu and medical errors.
23 Yulieski Gurriel who, after scoring a run off Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish in the 2017 World Series, mocked Darvish by performing a “slant-eye” gesture in the dugout while calling him “Chinito” (“Little Chinese Boy” in Spanish). 
24 Simon Rimmer, after feeding a vegan guest on his show a dish made with ghee, a clarified butter.
25 Drake Bell, after tweeting that he refused to identify Caitlyn Jenner by her name: “Sorry … still calling you Bruce.”
26 Pat Sajak, after tweeting that “alarmists” who believe in climate change are “unpatriotic racists.”
27 Trevor Noah, after making a joke about potential war between India and Pakistan. 
28 Logan Paul, after posting a YouTube video that apparently showed the dead body of a suicide victim.
29 Ariana Grande, after the release of a video that appears to show her licking donuts and saying, “I hate America.” 
30 Michael Richards, after a 2006 stand-up set where he said the word “n—r” (“He’s a n—r” was stated repeatedly toward a member of the audience) and made jokes about lynching when a small group of black audience members began to heckle him. 
31 Hulk Hogan, after the release of a sex tape in which he used racial slurs. 
32 Mark Wahlberg, after stating that 9/11 would have gone differently had he been on one of the planes: “If I was on that plane … it wouldn’t have gone down like it did.”
33 Jeremy Piven, in response to accusations of sexual misconduct.
34 Roseanne Barr, in a tweet, after tweeting out that former senior presidential aide Valerie Jarret was a product of “the muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes.” 
35 Roseanne Barr, “directly” apologizing to Valerie Jarret (who was not present), for her comments about Jarret. 
36 Lucy Hale, after captioning a photo on Instagram “Ugh, I was so fat.”
37 Ted Nugent, after calling President Barack Obama a “subhuman mongrel.”
38 The Ohio Republican Party after the unauthorized use of Jackson Browne’s song “Running on Empty” in a John McCain’s 2008 campaign ad. 
39 Donald Trump, after the release of a tape during the 2016 Presidential election where he stated, “When you’re a star, they let you do it. Grab ’em by the p—y. You can do anything.”
40 Steve Harvey, after mistakenly announcing the wrong winner when hosting the 2015 Miss Universe pageant. 
41 Gene Simmons, after claiming that Prince’s death “was a choice” due to his alleged use of painkillers. 
42 Anderson Cooper, after saying to a supporter of President Donald Trump on his show, “If [Trump] took a dump on his desk, you would defend it.”
43 Alec Baldwin, after calling a photographer a “c—ksucking f-g.”
44 Alec Baldwin, after the public release of a phone message in which he called his 11-year-old daughter a “rude, thoughtless little pig.”
45 Harvey Weinstein, after the New York Times reported decades of accusations of sexual harassment against him. 
46 Chris Brown, after physically beating his ex-girlfriend Rhianna. 
47 Mel Gibson, after drunkenly telling a police officer that “the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world” and asking the officer, “Are you a Jew?”
48 Mel Gibson, after his first apology for his behavior while being arrested was publicly decried as insufficient in regard to his anti-Semitic rhetoric. 
49 Mel Gibson, after the release of phone call audio to a former girlfriend in which he stated, among other things, “You look like a fucking pig in heat, and if you get raped by a pack of n—rs, it will be your fault.”
50 Mel Gibson, refusing to apologize for accusations from GLAAD that his film Braveheart contained homophobic elements. 

from Rattle #73, Fall 2021


Jason Olsen: “I apologize too much. I apologize for things that are important and things that aren’t. I apologize for things that I had nothing to do with. I apologize to the dog when I step too close to his bed. Because of my own tendencies, I am fascinated by the ‘art’ of the celebrity apology. I composed this poem over several days in my kitchen, constantly reading the apologies aloud to my wife as I progressed. I hope she has forgiven me.” (web)

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