More than a month after cancelling a promised Australian tour in 2013, Madonna issued a video 'sorry' to Australian fans. Unfortunately, it's largely an object lesson in how not to apologise.
Let's review what's wrong with the apology, which you can see in the video above:
It's not timely. The tour was cancelled July 18, but the apology didn't appear until August 26. That hardly suggests a burning sense of regret.
It's not actually a video. That delay might make sense if the video was (in any sense) a professional effort. Despite Madonna proclaiming "I was going to write a letter to everybody but I thought it would be better if I filmed myself", it's audio-only. Writing a letter would have been a lot quicker.
The excuse doesn't seem valid. The crux of Madonna's apology is that she wanted to be able to spend time at the end of the year with her children, rather than staying on the road. Any parent can sympathise with that argument, but it's not like the tour dates were announced on a whim. "I did everything I could, I thought long and hard about it," she says. Well, no. You could have scheduled Australia at a different time, or chosen not to appear in the first place, rather than getting everyone excited and then changing your mind.
We'll give Madonna credit for apologising, and the world won't stop turning simply because she doesn't tour, but this half-hearted effort won't do much to improve resentment amongst her fans. Don't make the same mistake the next time you screw up. Acknowledge the mistake in a prompt fashion, and give reasons that make sense.