CLICK TO REACT
So here we are. It's almost become a cliché. The public mea culpa after a celebrity's fall from grace. It may not always be sufficient to heal a star's severely fractured image. But it certainly seems that it has become necessary.
Tiger's apology will be a tight public relations orchestration. A statement only -- no questions will be asked, likely few answered. But this moment has been anticipated for months -- the call for a public apology was immediate after the news broke in November.
Tiger was contrite in a written statement and asked for privacy. But his visual absence only seemed to fan the flames. People wanted him to take responsibility for his actions in front of the cameras. I was one of them. But why?
It's as if we feel owed a spectacle, tears, that moment of public shame, before we can forgive. Maybe it humanizes the figure? Or makes us feel better about ourselves? But public forgiveness, if it comes with time, does not mend his personal transgressions -- it does not ease the strain on his family.
But does it mean that he is a changed man?
Addiction treatments often refer to the Prochaska stages of change. Due to the unique nature of Woods' celebrity and his public relations nightmare, Tiger was forced to skip the conventional 'contemplation' and 'preparation' phases of change. He jumped straight from 'pre-contemplation' (not considering change or thinking there's a problem) to 'action' (specific overt modifications in behavior), with a recently completed rehab stay.
The idea is that maintaining change comes from successfully navigating through these stages. But Woods, since he was caught, fast-forwarded the process. He did not approach change willfully, but rather stumbled (or crashed) into it. How this will affect his 'recovery' is yet unclear.
But the public will likely never know if Woods is truly a changed man. The press conference is theater. And it's also a courtroom of public opinion -- when it comes to changing our perception of Woods, will we consider contemplation?
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Posted by: alonzoQuijana | February 20, 2010 12:41 PM
Posted by: FromGeorgia | February 22, 2010 5:47 PM
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