When John Mayer dropped the “N word” in a interview with Playboy, it seemed his reputation hit rock bottom. But then he tried to apologize, and managed to drill it down a little deeper.
Through MediaCurves.com, HCD Research conducted studies in which Americans ranked the sincerity of celebrity apologies in 2009. John Mayer ranked the lowest among Chris Brown, David Letterman (times two), Governor Mark Sanford and Jaimee Grubbs.
Most people (88 percent) found Mayer’s use of the “N word” inappropriate, and after viewing his apology, 32 percent said they were less likely to listen to his music.
HCD also measured overall perception of sincerity in these celebrities. Here’s how they were rated:
“The scores … indicate the percent change in celebrities’ sincerity scores based on a scale of 1-7 before and after respondents viewed the apologies. Higher scores indicate higher levels of perceived sincerity. Positive scores indicate an increase in perceived sincerity and negative scores indicate a decrease in perceived sincerity.”
Mayer came in dead-last with a -13.6. Chris Brown did surprisingly well with a 17.2. David Letterman’s sex scandal confession earned him a 4.3, while the apology for his Palin joke got a -2.3. Governor Mark Sanford’s affair apology got a 3.2, and when Jaimee Grubbs apologized to Tiger Woods’ wife, she scored a -5.9.
What about Kanye’s awkward apologies to Taylor Swift? Too uncomfortable to judge, I guess.