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Necessary to some, cringe to many, the “celebrity apology” genre is giving us lots of content to discuss this year. These written or recorded mea culpa statements are highly calculated moves that aim to make A-listers more relatable, public relations strategists say, and elicit empathy in their audience.

The most recent example of this trend is British actress Emily Blunt’s apology for describing a waitress as “enormous” in a 2012 interview on the UK’s Jonathan Ross Show that recently resurfaced online.

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The clip shows the Oppenheimer actress telling an anecdote about going to a Chili’s restaurant in the US while filming the action-thriller Looper.

The TV host says, “If you go to Chili’s you can see why so many of our American friends are enormous.” The British star replies: “Well, the girl who was serving me was enormous. I think she got freebie meals at Chili’s.”

The conversation carried on with Blunt saying that the server told her she bore a striking resemblance to Emily Blunt only to realize later that she was, in fact, Emily Blunt.

“The girl who was serving us was enormous. I think she got freebie meals at Chili’s,” the British star said during a 2012 interview

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The actress’ remarks were deemed “fatphobic” and stirred controversy among thousands of social media users who argued that the server’s weight had nothing to do with the story. 

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“Emily Blunt seriously was one of my fave actresses but turns out she’s a fatphobic, unfunny mean girl who thinks it’s funny to point out the size of a server when it adds nothing to the story—for shame,” one user wrote on X.

“I wonder why there was the need to mention her weight,” another agreed.

“Enormous is a hugely disrespectful word in this context. Emily Blunt should apologize.”

In her apology statement, Blunt said she was “appalled” by her past behavior and described her remarks as “insensitive and hurtful”

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And so she did. In a statement published in People Magazine, the Girl On The Train said: “I just need to address this head on as my jaw was on the floor watching this clip from 12 years ago.”

“I’m appalled that I would say something so insensitive, hurtful, and unrelated to whatever story I was trying to tell on a talk show.”

“I’ve always considered myself someone who wouldn’t dream of upsetting anyone so whatever possessed me to say anything like this in that moment is unrecognizable to me or anything I stand for.

“I’m so sorry for any hurt caused. I was absolutely old enough to know better.”

“I’m so sorry for all the hurt I caused. I was absolutely old enough to know better,” she said

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The 40-year-old is an advocate for women’s rights and has praised the work of the Malala Fund, the nonprofit funded by Malala Yousafzai in 2015, at Variety’s Power of Woman event five years ago.

Her words of apology sparked an online debate, with many people saying that her intentions were genuine and others maintaining that she was only condemning her disrespectful behavior because she had been caught.

User Invis2020 believes the actress is attempting to elevate her public image with the goal of securing a gold-pleated statuette: “She’s only appalled and sorry because it got traction. It’s been years and now she’s in a reflective mood? Please. She’s in campaign mode for best supporting actress,” they wrote on Reddit.

You can watch her 2012 interview on the Jonatan Ross Show below

Another user said that, while they appreciate that Blunt owned up to her mistake, they’re still unsure about whether the Golden Globe winner has truly matured and changed her judgmental nature.

“The thing about people who think and say things like this is they toss them out without much thought, because it’s just so natural to them. That’s the real problem, that she either once was or still is a person who thinks of those things so easily.”

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People agreed that the server’s weight didn’t add anything to the anecdote

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Then, there were those who believed that a decade is enough time to reflect on one’s past actions. “It was almost 10 years ago and people can grow and change. I really hope Emily meant that apology since there’s already so much negative in the world,” a more forgiving Redditor wrote.

Another agreed: “People aren’t going to let it go regardless but people can reflect back on their past behavior and comments and realize they were in the wrong.”

Many believed her apology was sincere and that Blunt changed after a decade

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For user Jdgetrpin, who works as a dietitian, it’s crucial to take into consideration the broader context when those words were said.

“We all grew up being fed the message that being fat is bad and everything that comes with that. This new trend of being less fat-phobic is fairly recent, and there’s still so much discrimination against fat people in this country.”

To some, her apology was insufficient and failed to address fatphobia as a whole

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Blunt’s statement follows other widely criticized celebrity apology videos, such as Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher’s sit-down clip after supporting their ‘70s Show co-star and good friend, Danny Masterson, who was recently accused of rape.

In the Instagram video, which was considered a curated, carefully scripted attempt to avoid cancel culture, the couple said that their support letters to the actor were never intended to be made public.

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The comments on the video were later turned off following backlash.

Additionally, Drew Barrymore had to delete the apology video she made after announcing that her daytime talk show, The Drew Barrymore Show, would resume filming amid the WGA and SAG-AFTRA writer strikes.

The controversial video—deleted less than 24 hours after its publication— led fans to accuse the actress of failing to sympathize with the writers’ demands and expressing a false sense of remorse.

Others said Blunt shouldn’t have apologized for a comment she made over a decade ago