Ex X Factor judges must apologise publicly

17 March 2015

The only way for Willy Moon and Natalie Kills to salvage what’s left of their reputations is to apologise to Joe Irvine unreservedly and immediately. They should do it in private and publicly.

If there’s one thing people dislike more than major blunders, it’s the refusal of those at fault to front up and take responsibility.

There may be aspects of this behind the scenes that we don’t know about. Maybe Moon and Kills were encouraged to be brutal. But they can’t have been given licence to treat Irvine the way they did.  

If they do proceed with legal action against their dismissal and therefore avoid an apology, they will only become more unpopular. Even if they won in a court of law, they would lose dismally in the court of public opinion and presumably among those who would consider buying their records.

As we tell our media training clients, if you make a mistake, apologise and move on.

The other thing a public apology would do is balance up some of the media coverage. Every story and opinion is against them. At least if they fronted up and said sorry now, they would be given some credit. It would also limit the shelf life of the story.

For more on my media training workshops, contact or 029 200 8555.

Written by

Pete is a leading New Zealand media trainer and regular blogger for his company, Media Training NZ . He has helped leaders from all sectors of society communicate with the media and other stakeholders. Pete is a former daily newspaper reporter and press secretary in the New Zealand government. From these roles, he understands the media process from both sides of the camera.

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