Getting Called Out: How to Apologize

Hey guys! So today, I want to talk about
getting called out and how to apologize. And the thing
that inspired this video is recently, we’ve had a lot of celebrities
in the media screwing up getting called out
and then offering faux-apologies, like Russell Simmons,
Paula Deen, Anthony Weiner, most recently Sheryl Underwood… I wanted to talk about what you’re supposed to do
when you get called out and the way to apologize
so that people believe you and know you’re actually
committed to change. When I talk about getting called out,
what exactly do I mean? It’s not just
getting your feelings hurt, or someone pointing out
that you took the last slice of pizza. Getting called out
in this context of this video, is when you say or do something that upholds the oppression
of a marginalized group of people. So for example, sexism, racism,
homophobia, transphobia, ablism, something that you’ve said or done that basically is just perpetuating
negative stereotypes or ideals that have real consequences. So, in my Social Responsability video, we talked about why making jokes
about really serious issues or minimizing serious issues
has negative consequences, but now I wanna talk about what happens
when that’s brought to your attention and how you can successfully apologize
and become an ally and now be committed
to changing your behaviour and doing the right thing. Usually, when you call out
someone’s behaviour, or something that they’ve said, the natural reaction is to get defensive. “You’re so sensitive!” “I was just joking.” “My best friend is black.” “My sister is a lesbian.” “You are so emotional.” “You know I didn’t mean it that way.” “Everybody has to be
so PC nowadays.” Now I can completely understand
why people usually react this way, it’s because
no one wants to be the bad guy. And if you get called out on doing something
that’s oppressing another group of people, well, that’s bad
and no one wants to be bad. But I want to discourage you
from going that route because what you really need to do
is listen because this is where the other person
is hopefully going to explain to you what you did wrong
and how you can change it. Another thing that people
tend to fall back on in these instances is their intent. “Oh I didn’t mean it like that” or “you’re interpreting it
the wrong way.” In these instances, I know that
you might think that that makes a difference, but we’re not really worrying
about your intent here, because of course
you didn’t mean to offend anyone, there really aren’t that many people
that walk around trying to offend people, I mean, there are those people,
and they’re jerks, and why would you even be friends
with those types of people? Your intent really doesn’t matter,
because it’s a matter of intent vs impact. And that’s actually something that I learnt
from a really good friend of mine, Jukebox Jones on Facebook. It doesn’t matter in these instances
what you meant. What matters is what’s the outcome
of what you said or what you did. I use the example
of stepping on somebody’s foot. I might step on your foot
and break you toe, I didn’t mean to break your toe, but your toe is still broken,
and it still really hurts. So instead of talking about
what you meant to do, talk about
what you actually did. Which brings me to
the next part of this video: good apologies
vs bad apologies. Now the first most common
bad non-apology that I hear: “I’m sorry
that you were offended.” That… is like
the worst non-apology ever because instead of
taking responsability for your actions, you’re putting the blame
on the other person and saying that
“it’s your fault that you’re offended.” Not that you did
something that offended them. So don’t make that mistake. Another one that I hear
a lot of times is: “I’m sorry if you were offended.” That one doesn’t cut it either, because the person is offended,
so there’s no reason to bring up “if” and it also doesn’t acknowledge
what you did wrong and why it was wrong. Because you’re saying:
“If you were offended, I’m sorry, but if you weren’t offended,
I’m not sorry.” And again, that’s not
how you do this apology thing. A real genuine apology
is made up of two parts: the first part is you take responsability
for what you’ve done, and then the second part is
you make a commitment to change the behaviour. It’s that simple, and trust me, as someone
that’s apologized more than a few times, as someone that’s been called out
more than a few times, it’s not really that hard to do. The best way that I can figure out
to drive this point home is to give you an example
using myself. So about 2 years ago, I made this video
called “Queen For a Day” where I dressed up
as a drag queen, went around New York City and
asked people to guess if I was a man or a woman. I thought the video was hysterical, my friends thought
it was really funny, it did really well on Youtube, and it wasn’t until about a year later
that someone brought to my attention that it was super offensive! They were like:
“Hey, this is some transphobic garbage! Why would you do
something like this?” Now of course, my initial reaction
was to get defensive, I was like:
“What are you talking about?” “I’m not a transphobic,
what does it even mean?” “I have friends that are trans!”
“I didn’t mean it that way!” “It’s just a joke!”
“You’re taking this too personally…” I did all the things
that you’re not supposed to do! So instead, I stopped
and I listened. And they explained that
if you’re trans, having people trying to figure out
what your gender is is like a daily battle, and it’s not really fun,
and it’s super rude, and making a video
that encourages that and kinda makes a game or something funny
out of questioning someone’s gender is basically encouraging people
to participate in that type of behaviour, and that’s really really bad, especially when you consider the fact
that there are trans people who are regularly assaulted
and murdered because people are trying
to question and figure out how they identify. So once this was brought to my attention,
I was like… “You’re right!
I’m so sorry.” Didn’t need to talk about what my intent was,
or why I did it, instead, I just said:
“Wow I’m really sorry.” “I’m really gonna make sure
that I don’t do it again.” “Thanks for bringing that
to my attention.” I ended up
taking the video down, and since then, I’ve really made an effort
to be more aware of trans issues, and try to be a better ally
to the trans people in my life and in my online community, and it was surprisingly
not that hard or life-changing to admit
that I did something wrong. And it felt really good
to know that I fixed the problem, and that now
I’m part of the solution. The first thing that you wanna do
is acknowledge what went wrong, and I’ll use my example
of the “Queen For a Day” video. “I am sorry that I perpetuated
transphobic behaviours by making a video
that trivializes gender identity.” It’s a little involved,
might not need to go that in depth, but you get the point. Also, when you acknowledge
what went wrong, you wanna try and make sure
to avoid the words “but” or “if” because that puts conditions
on your apology, or why you did it, and again,
we really aren’t trying to talk about intent here. Something that I try to do
and I would love to impart on you guys when it comes to sincere apologies is to say thank you. Just a super simple: “thank you so much
for bringing this to my attention.” Because it takes a lot of courage
to call somebody out. It’s scary and not fun,
and you just… It’s just a great way to like,
soften the experience a little bit. The last thing to remember
when you’re making this apology is don’t just say it – do it. Remember that actions
speak louder than words. And you can say sorry
til the cows come home, but if you keep engaging
in that sort of behaviour, or saying those sort of things, then… then your apology
just doesn’t really mean anything. Now that you guys know about
getting called out and how to apologize, I wanna hear about a time
that you had to apologize, it can be something big
or small, let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget,
I’m posting new videos every Friday, so make sure and subscribe, and I’ll see you guys next week. Bye! A lot of things have been going on recently,
in me… Paula Deen, uh, what’s… I gotta start this over. Is it just me or
do I look really tan? And I’m not complaining, but,
this is like… I’m really brown in this video! Now that this has been called
to your attention, it’s your ti… So that brings me to my next point,
how to apologize… That brings me my… Which brings me
to my next point: how to apol… Make sure that you avoid
the words “but” or “if”, if possible… if possible. Something else that I try to keep in mind
in these circumstances is that…

100 thoughts on “Getting Called Out: How to Apologize

  1. Can you do a video on where you think the difference between offensive and oppression is? And if someone calls you out but they are wrong how to deal with that? Since you deal with a lot of social issues you must have encountered call outs that aren't actually call outs because they are factually wrong or based on offense instead of oppression so I wonder if you could talk about this?
    I also wanted to say I enjoy your perspective even when I don't agree with it because I think there is something to learn from listening to all sides and making the most informed opinion on an issue. Can you talk more about a situation where your opinion changed in relation to a topic because of valid points you heard? Since I think it's important to have an open mind and i'd like to see you talk about a situation that changed yours.

  2. Wow, the number and vitriolic nature of negative comments suggest the number of people who are not willing to even CONSIDER new information to solve intergroup tensions. This video was a public service, IMHO. I know it helped me by providing a sensible guide to what to do when ANYONE has suffered from something I did.

  3. I think intent does mater. If you were offended about by something someone you know said, the both of you should talk about it and try to come to understanding.

  4. Being called out for something you didn't know was unacceptable is the most mentally painful thing in the world, with an unbearable guilt trip to match that can last for how long. It makes you confirm your belief that you're a disgrace to everything in existence and nothing more than a disaster waiting to happen.

  5. I have a general question, see if anyone can help me. So I'm being called out for having a "problematic fav" as they say, because he has said racist things. I responded in the way I have learned by different creators online. I had been aware of this person's racist comments and had been previously critical of them, still I reiterated to the anons my criticism of this artists and denounced his comments as well as accepted my own privilege as a white latinx person. I also accepted the fact that they don't have to accept my apology and can remain critical of me and my support for this artist. That said they continue to press on on the issue and I am not sure how else to respond. I have no intent on dropping him from my favs as I've seen his evolution from the comments he has made to being on stage singing every night about police brutality, and I think he is attempting to move forward. I am just a bit at a loss as to what to say or how to respond to the continued messages I'm receiving. I find myself sounding like a broken record.. help?

  6. As a trans pacific koalakin with a handicap and severe form of autism that is a gender flipper flopper and meditates on the frequent; eats only high processed German soy non gluten eucalyptus leaves. Your channel offends me, so you should disband it.

  7. I always laugh my ass off when people categorize women as a "marginalized group" or even better: "minority group"
    Seriously, women make up about half of the human population…
    And also, there's no need to apologize for using a word they don't like, unless you're doing it with actual maliciousness.

  8. Thanks for making these videos. As a professor I can use many of these videos in class to speak about challenging issues. Keep up the good work!

  9. Would one classify calling another out as a form of verbal bullying, considering it makes the recipient feel like shit for days to come?

  10. Great video! Thanks for raising awareness, and modeling how to skillfully apologize. Also, thanks for being a great trans ally!

  11. is this video meant soley for you franny? cuz if it isn't it SHOULD be. apply all these things to yourself. and see how u feel.

  12. @chescaleigh You are wise beyond your years. An important topic, clearly explained, with good examples. Took a lot of guts to use yourself as an example of someone being called out, where your intent wasn't evil but the hurt was real, and then the actions you took in consequence. Five stars, really well done. Am going to subscribe to your channel to see what else you are up to (or have been up to).

  13. Here's the thing with your example – we are a species that is sexually dimorphous, and our culture and language reflect that. I didn't ask to be born into a culture that assumes I can easily tell if someone is a man or a woman, and neither did you, but here we are. Now take a person who wants to transition from one gender to another, or to something else entirely. If this person is genuinely trying to transition, for example from a man to a woman, and people in public trip up when speaking to them, I understand that this can be disappointing, but it is not anyone else's fault.

    However, there are quite a lot of people out there who intentionally look androgynous, and then get offended when customer service workers, or other strangers trip up in speaking to them. This is ridiculous. If you go out of your way to look androgynous, and then walk up to a receptionist and that person says "good morning s….ma…. uh… how may I help you?" that is nothing you have the right to complain about. That's not the receptionist's fault. YOU KNOW humans are sexually dimorphous, YOU KNOW that English is based on assumptions of the gender binary, and YOU KNOW that poor receptionist is just trying to do his job and speak in a gender binary normative language. Don't come crying to me about how offended you are or how hard your life is that people stumble over calling you sir or ma'am.

  14. So since the YouTube community has "Called you out" for being a racist hatemonger, will you listen, apologize, and change your behavior? Or will you just double down with hypocritical double standards?

  15. your being called out all the time and yet your always blaming everyone else for your failures! how people can stand watching your racebaiting vids is baffling to me! im white and you make me dislike you and anyone regardless of race that shares your views!

  16. Hey everybody! I just had a SUPER fun idea, over here at Chez Whitey…why don't we all reach out and help this lady recognise what actual racism is? She is so kind to patronise and school white people, perhaps she would enjoy some nice patronising in return?

  17. I have a very dear friend that called me out one time many years ago when I used the word colored to describe an AA person. She told me that that word is not really used anymore and is kind of offensive. I was surprised and I felt bad for basically being so ignorant. I apologized and said thank you for making me aware of this and we were able to talk more about this issue. This video gives great advise for because there are times where I have gotten defensive in other situations because of course I don't want to be the bad guy and my intent is not to offend or hurt anyone but as you say it is not about the intent it is about the impact or outcome. Thank You

  18. I think Dylan Marron did a good job when he was called out for doing a shutting down bullsh*t on autism spectrum disorders and only included parents of people with autism not the people themselves. He wrote something saying that he heard and now recognized what he did was problematic, thanked the people who called him out and then did an episode following up with people who were on the autism spectrum themselves.

  19. Ooh, I didn't see this video until now, but I still have an example.

    A certain author that shall remain unnamed was writing a fantasy story set in the USA. They drew a lot from Native American culture, especially for their "magical creatures." A number of Native American fans were pretty upset about this, feeling that it was wrong to exploit their culture for personal gain.

    Pretty reasonable in hindsight, but at the time, I wasn't convinced. I felt like it would be worse to write a story based in "American mythology" and ignore the existence of Native American culture and beliefs.

    But oops! I'm not Native American, and therefore, not really in a great position to understand what was up. Luckily, was someone who was willing to call me out and help me understand that it's pretty messed up to equate someone's real, currently existing cultural beliefs and experiences with like… dragons and wizards. ESPECIALLY when the person doing so is chopping up and twisting the culture in question to suit their own needs and profit off of it.

    Course, at the time, my initial reaction was to get all defensive about it! I didn't quite say it as such, but I definitely thought "what, just because I'm not Native American, my view doesn't matter?!" After a little bit, I realized that, yeah, actually. I don't have the experience with or knowledge of the topic that someone who's actually lived it does. So, I apologized, and moved on, and now when I can, I try and help explain that same thing to other people who may not realize it.

  20. Being called out = Being told that you're an absolute disgrace to everything with a solid zero chance of ever redeeming yourself.

  21. You have no idea how important it is to me that you said "ableism." That's something people forget about a ton. I'm both gay and epileptic. My seizures are controlled (I'm 28 and it's been 15 years) but I constantly watch my favorite youtubers use seizures/epilepsy as a joke. So thank you, thank you, thank you. This is an awesome video.

  22. I wish all celebrities were Paula Dean, who I saw on Masterchef once, and had no reason to feel but, indifferent, when she said or admitted to saying the "N-Word." Most of these celebrities however, are from movies I loved in childhood, or have impacted my life for the better as a young adult. A few have died very tragic deaths, which I think about along with their racism, that weighs very heavy on my heat. In fact, this one celebrity I am so fond of that I watch everything this person has done, had some racist scenes in a show he was in, as in "we are NOT supposed to mention when the color of people's skin is different from us whites" and this celebrity has done things like, preform just for one little girl who was dying, and donate to charities, and be the best behaved celebrity I've ever had the pleasure of admiring, but the same thing happened with this celebrity as with a lot of the celebrities I admire. It is sad I know, but most celebrities disappointment us, the social justice warriors, in this exact way, and the heartbreak is harder to bear as it happens with everyone you admire, but be their loyal fan and don't desert them, because in the right circumstances, you would have done the same thing. You shan't be arrogant and say you wouldn't.

    What is the way to call somebody out without making them feel horrible?

  23. Here's a stereotype for black people. Over sensitive, attention-seeking, self entitled crybabies. Cause honestly, that's mostly what I see on the internet. I know, 'not all black people'. Duh! But why isn't there a 'not all white people' argument. Cause that's rare on the internet.

  24. You bee doing this for 5 years and have 200k subs with all the publicity you get?lmao keep trying your never gonna be rich if you continue this fuck white people shtick.

  25. How many hour a day does it take to do your hair? If you spent that much time learning something you wouldn't have to be on youtube making a fool of yourself.

  26. Lol did she just redefine "getting called out"? Talk about appropriation. Why can't SJWs come up with their own terms instead of re-branding a preexisting colloquialism? muh oppression!

  27. thanks for posting this 🙂 i had to keep rewinding cause i got distracted by how beautiful your hair is!!

  28. encouraging people not to explain why they said something is not that great. Maybe, just maybe, the person that was offended heard something wrong or received it the wrong way and by explaining the misunderstanding may be solved and the feeling of being offended may fade after that. It's not good enough to apologize if you don't agree with someone or the way they describe what happened and how it affected them is not really true or how you see it. Open discussion, not preaching…

  29. Women in the west are NOT a marginalized group! the enjoy many many privileges over their male counterparts.

    also, people shouldnt be forced to apologize for things that arent even issues in the first place. if you are offended… thats youre problem. especially because these "grievances" you have are mostly bullshit and its really obvious that your "offense" is nothing more than an excuse for you to oppress other people and force tgem to rhink and act as you do.

  30. this woman's channel is basically just a bunch of videos of her telling youtube how tge world can treat her better.

  31. Last week I really hurt my friend by apologizing to her in an offensive way 🙂 She was telling me about her childhood and mentioned an activity she participated in that I think of as something only white people do. I said something like, "Wow, what gave you the idea to do that?" then immediately saw the stereotype. Next day I sent her an email apologizing. As part of the apology I spelled out in detail the stereotype behind the comment:. She didn't need that, and let me know. She was really angry. She said, "You asked me to hold space for your racism!" I listened to her talk about how she felt for about 10 minutes. Then I told her I was really sorry for hurting her. I did explain why I did what I did, but in retrospect that may have been beside the point. Later I wrote her a card apologizing again and saying that I really want to learn how to be a better friend to her.

  32. Before you go censoring other people with your stupid 'Creators for Change' bullshit why don't you actually address the critique you're getting.

  33. In the same vein of analogy, let's say somebody runs over me with a car and I am dead. What if it was an accident? I am still dead after all. What if it was intended? A murder? Well, I am still dead.

    So, is the crime the same? Do we treat the driver the same way no matter what? Or do we weigh the motive as we consider how we judge the person responsible for the (literal) impact?

    There is a reason that a court of law considers the motive when assigning a sentence- and the charge

    Edit- format

  34. I've not been called out…yet…but looking back there were probably plenty of times I SHOULD have been called out and people were too polite or didn't want to make waves or something. I've learned a lot over the years and still have more to learn. I've been on the receiving end of the faux apology and that was my first introduction to how much that hurts, even more in some ways than the original thing. In this case it was misogyny and being talked down to and treated as if I were just an extension of my then-boyfriend (now-husband). The person offered up the "Well, I'm so sorry if you were offended but…" diatribe. And his buddies backed him up. Needless to say they're not people I associate with anymore and if I were to ever offer up something like that I would 100% understand why someone would cut me out of their life. Hopefully I won't ever do that no matter what the knee-jerk reaction I might have.

    This is an excellent video and I hope more people watch it AND take it to heart.

  35. Communication is SOOOOOO key when it comes to admitting fault or finding fault with something.

    Like if I stepped on someone’s toe, I wouldn’t ignore it! I would say sorry!

    If someone else steps on my toe and they tried to blame me (why are you always standing there?!), I’m gonna take a step back and let them go off on me before I ask them to apologize (in a nice fashion) and then forgive them because their excuse is coming from somewhere deeper (I presume).

    Still, communication is sooo so so so so important, I cannot emphasize that enough!

  36. The irony is that maybe you should have rewatched this video before coming out in video as an ignorant two faced person with Warski

  37. I think its great that you want to be an ally. So, I gotta call you out: Please don't use "HI GUYS" as it is gender normative. Please use instead: "HEY FOLKS" as it is more inclusive and non gender normative. – From your gender bending viewer Julian Perez. 🙂 Thank you!

  38. In the interest of honest communication, you cannot expect someone to truly feel sorry for doing something wrong before it's explained to them that it is wrong. "I'm sorry you got offended" is not a non-apology, it's a (hopefully) honest attempt to say that you feel bad that someone got hurt but are yet unconvinced that you did anything wrong.
    I'm sure most everyone would agree that a person is not necessarily responsible for every negative emotion another would have, only for what they caused unjustly. Unjustly is added to allow leverage that sometimes causing negative emotions are helpful in some circumstances. Without a person understanding that they did something wrong (unjustly), then they of course wouldnt feel genuine sorrow over what they did, but can still feel sorrow over the other's suffering.

  39. this women is a clown she talks mad shit about white ppll and dates a white guy smh what a Hypocrite .. she should apologize for makeing these stupid videos

  40. Francesca ramsey talking about oppression is like watching a kid threatening to jump off a bridge just cause daddy didnt buy an Xbox for him

  41. Got called out by a close friend of mine and was completely lost as to how to respond!! I appreciate this video so much, I'm trying to become a better ally for POC and just realized how blind I am to the kinds of things they go through

  42. This video implies that the person that’s called out is wrong all the time. SOME people reach to be offended and are a bit too sensitive. Most people that are offended usually have no problem offending others. Tune out what you don’t like. When some one says something that I could take offensive, I simply make a mental note of who they are. I also check myself to see if I’m reaching. I do think the world is too sensitive. Everything offends everyone these days.

  43. What a fantastic video that helped me gain so much more insight on how to be a better ally for people. I just wish I found this video sooner! Thank you so much for making this 😃

  44. honestly, how do we band together and block jukebox jones/jukiejones/tashabilities from all social media………. she is literally one of the worst human beings to grace our planet……… she is a bully, a racist, a bigot and a hypocrite of monumental proportions……….

  45. I used to like this video. Then a group used this video to weaponize apologies to oppress and really hurt several people in the trans community. Seeing how that group used this to force others into their particular views they thought to be right opened up my eyes. This video is rather harmful. Intent is extremely important, yes impact is important too. What I see happening when others do not recognize intent is it develops intolerance to other people's cultures and their background of life experiences. Yes there some good take ways in this video, however this video is extreme on the other side. I have watch this video be used to justify being intolerant to others and hurt them.

    One example was a trans women was very excited that she was starting to being gendered correctly. Shared the good news to what should have been a support group chat. However the activist "leaders" of that group jump onto her saying no one should ever assume gender, then forced her into tears until she apologized about being happy that people were finally assuming she was a women. This video was used and referenced to invalidate her intentions of sharing her happiness because the "leaders" of the group own perception was that sharing her happiness encourages an "issue" of people assuming other people's gender. There are more examples, but I thought you should know.

  46. What I think needs to be apologized for is the tendency for people to overlook and deny the constitutional right for people's right to speak or even not to speak. We may not always agree. As long as we are not actually physically harming or threatening someone we do not have to apologize for how we feel it what we think. As long as how we feel does not deny some one a job or housing then it's just how they feel. People should really stop trying to bully people into thinking the way they want. The nain thing is to get people to understand that everyone has a right to be a part if the community and be a productive person not changing people's personal feelings about lifestyles they don't agree with.

  47. I got called out today by a “friend” for calling them rude things and saying they were toxic. I never said any of the things he had told me I had said to them. I checked all of my contacts, and never said that about him once. No idea where he got that from. He gets his mom into every situation we get into, and I just apologized on text- even though I did nothing. If he tells his mom, and I get in trouble for apologizing, I’m just going to be beyond done…

  48. I know this is an old video, but I highly urge you to read this article here:

    It documents a study done in 2016 that showed a method for changing the biases and worldviews of people that was much more effective than calling them out.

  49. Thank you for the physical and emotional effort you put into this, I found it very helpful and informative.

  50. The Cultural Revolution showed the world how it is done. Hate, debase, and keep the heretic perpetually off balance. Fill the pillories and find some stones. Public apologies to amorphous nebulously offended masses make no one feel better other than sadists watching you squirm.

  51. Getting called out is like getting bullied but the bullying is actually justified. The worst feeling in the world.

  52. Hi, do you have an email address where I can contact you, about I problem I have, I don’t have social media it is disabled at the moment as I’m overseas on training I only have YouTube or email. Thanks

  53. Oof, okay so basically I said some shitty stuff about trans people online and then I went and used all those bad ways to apologize. I was a total shithead and I'm currently in the process of fixing it (onr of the people that called me out actually sent me this video which was 100% deserved) and this video really helped. Thanks!

  54. God damn people are such sallies these days, it's laughable yet unbelievable. Wayyyyy too into yourselves. This is the same kinda social rights warrior who will gladly support a consumptionist society that is destroying the planet and use luxury items created with slave labour from overseas

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