October 17, 2021

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Why Mark Ruffalo’s Apology for Slamming Israel Matters. Really

Stars have turned public apologies into an art form, of sorts.

We can thank Cancel Culture for part of this trend. Celebrities routinely apologize for past jokes, movies and roles now deemed “problematic.” Some of the apologies sound like they’re conducted under duress. Others read as if they were written by a Communist dictator demanding fealty above all else.

And then there’s Mark Ruffalo’s recent apology.

The Oscar-nominated actor, best known in recent years for playing the Hulk in the MCU, apologized sans reservations for anti-Israel rhetoric. Ruffalo blasted the Jewish nation on social media at a time when anti-Jewish hate crimes are spiking.

“I have reflected & wanted to apologize for posts during the recent Israel/Hamas fighting that suggested Israel is committing “genocide”. It’s not accurate, it’s inflammatory, disrespectful & is being used to justify antisemitism here & abroad. Now is the time to avoid hyperbole.”

The “Dark Waters” star is right on many levels, and he was oh, so wrong to share those erroneous opinions in the first place. He’s far from alone in CelebrityVille when it comes to unfairly bashing Israel, but his apology matters for several key reasons.

For starters, it likely wasn’t forced in the usual ways. The woke mob didn’t harass him to change his mind. Heck, it may have quietly cheered Ruffalo on given the far-left nature of today’s Social Justice Warrior. Ruffalo may get more heat for his apology.

Likewise, the media all but ignored his comments and reporters didn’t suggest an apology was even necessary.

RELATED: Why Jon Stewart Owes Us an Apology

His Hollywood peers probably gave his views little attention, either, so it may not cause much consternation on a TV or film set.

Apologies in general are best when they’re sincere, organic and lacking anything that suggests deflection. A perfect example of the latter is Jimmy Kimmel’s quasi apology for wearing blackface many years ago. The talker’s bitterness for being called out in the first place couldn’t be more clear.

Ruffalo’s apology reads far better.

Apologies in general have been devalued in the public space. They happen too often these days. They’re often about PR damage control, not a true re-examination of the actions in question.

Cancel Culture often doesn’t accept apologies and move on, either. So their value is questionable without a possibility for forgiveness.

Wouldn’t it be nice if other stars took Ruffalo’s approach, though? We could start with Rosanna Arquette. The 50-something star rages against entire swaths of people via her Twitter account, with nary an apology in sight.

No one is demanding she apologize for her unabashed hate, which would make any apology more genuine. Just don’t hold your breath.

Let’s praise Ruffalo’s apology and hope the next time a star follows in his footsteps it’s as authentic, and real, as his appears to be.