Diddy’s ‘Social Sorry’ Did Him No Favors

diddy-posts-video-apologising-for-2016-attack-of-cassie

It’s already been established that we do like rappers who rap about doing drugs, selling drugs, committing murder, participating in sex trafficking and having women out in the streets working for them, domestic violence, and other types of violence.  What’s up for debate is how we feel about rappers who actually engage in that behavior in real life. Would the bailiff please bring into the Court of Public Opinion, Sean “Diddy” Combs.

By now we’ve all watched or heard about rap mogul Diddy, as he is better known as, appearing to hit, kick, stomp, and drag his then-girlfriend Cassie Ventura in that recently released 2016 hotel surveillance video. Whether you believed her before the video dropped or saw the light after you saw the video is conversation for another day. The fact is, she said it, there’s now a video that backs up her claims of abuse, and now it’s up to the Court of Public Opinion to render a verdict on the future of Diddy as a member of high society.

From the jump, Diddy vehemently denied Cassie’s allegations of assault, but still settled a federal lawsuit by Ventura in November one day after it was filed. And while he settled that lawsuit in seemingly record time, it would take him two days before he posted his apology in the Court of Public Opinion, better known as social media.

I know that apologies have become mandatory. We demand that celebrities and CEOs alike take to social media to repent for their wrongdoing be it an extra-marital affair, racist or hateful language, mass layoffs, or being caught on video physically assaulting a partner they claimed they didn’t. The longer they take in doing it, the louder the outcry.

I am a card carrying member of the Court of Public Opinion in good standing and I can tell you that Diddy hit most of the obligatory marks we’ve come to expect in these public statements of remorse. He hit the marks for apologizing publicly, including a reference to God, mentioning therapy and rehab, and the classic self-reflection about hitting rock bottom and possibly being on some type of drugs or alcohol. Check, check, and check. However, he did fail to shed an actual tear. He failed to get in front of the story when he told us a bald-faced lie when he denied Cassie’s allegations and when he didn’t apologize before the video came out.

Facts. A social media post doesn’t require the same level of accountability as a more personal, direct form of apology.

If Diddy is sorry–I believe it’s because the video is now public. He had every opportunity to show contrition before that video came out. Facts. Diddy’s social sorry, to me, was more about reputation management, investors, sponsors–basically his money.

I am not a fan of cancel culture because of the selectiveness in who gets canceled and who is given a pass. I need a little bit more consistency and more clarity on the moral compass that is driving cancel culture.

While the concept of canceling can be controversial, I will agree that there are clear cases where it is necessary and justified. This is one of those cases. Diddy should be canceled.

We have got to maintain a standard of behavior that respects the dignity and rights of all individuals, regardless of their fame or influence. Anything less in this case sends the message that certain behavior is acceptable–when it’s not.

It is easy to just post a message and then move on without taking any real steps to rectify the situation. True accountability involves more than just words, it requires actions that demonstrate a commitment to change. It wasn’t that long that Diddy, through his attorneys, denied Cassie’s allegations as “riddled with baseless and outrageous lies,” that were aiming to tarnish his reputation and seeking a payday. So how changed is he really?

Cassie aside, Diddy faces at least five other civil lawsuits accusing him of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and other illegal activity including sex-trafficking. And just like with Cassie, Diddy has denied the allegations.

If history is any guide–and it oftentimes is–Diddy will probably soon be indicted and arrested on sex-trafficking allegations following the US Department of Homeland Security raiding two Miami and Los Angeles properties.

I’ve given a lot of thought about what, if anything, Diddy could do say to the Court of Public Opinion to show that he’s truly remorseful and I’ve got nothing folks aside from him owning up to what’s to come before it comes out and that’s probably next to impossible for him to do since, no doubt, he’ll be trying to stay out of prison.

For me, there are instances where the actions of someone are so severe that they warrant no forgiveness. Crimes such as sexual assault, domestic violence, and egregious racism are not mere mistakes or lapses in judgment, they are deeply harmful actions that have lasting impacts on victims and society. When celebrities and politicians commit such acts, allowing them to continue their careers without significant consequences sends a dangerous message that fame can excuse severe misconduct.

The fact is, celebrities like Diddy hold immense power and influence over the public. Their actions and words can shape societal norms and behaviors. When they commit serious wrongdoings and face no substantial repercussions, it undermines efforts to promote accountability and justice.

Diddy is not to be excused and that shouldn’t even be a consideration when all of the evidence hasn’t even made its way to the Court of Public Opinion.

We could be in for a lot more than what we’ve already seen in that video and any attempts to forgive Diddy or make the case for looking past his 2016 transgressions at this point would be premature.

I rest my case…for now.

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