Sebastian Stan offered a longer apology for that ‘take a knee’ meme he shared

42nd Toronto International Film Festival - ‘I, Tonya’ - Premiere

Much like Sebastian Stan, I was surprised by the reaction to Stan sharing a meme about Tonya Harding and “taking a knee.” Last week, Stan decided to repost a meme on Instagram, and he did so as a funny-stupid way to promote his role in I, Tonya, the Tonya Harding bio-pic making its way through film festivals as we speak. This was the Instagram:

Invictus Games Closing Ceremony

Stan posted that following Donald Trump’s “lost weekend,” where Trump decided to spend the entire f–king weekend on Twitter, bitching about the NFL and any (black) player who dared to “take a knee” like Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick’s act of civil disobedience started as a way to protest and raise awareness of police violence against communities of color. Trump called them all “ungrateful” and “sons of bitches.” I still believe that Sebastian was not “punching down” and making a joke about football players or police violence. I still believe his joke was always about Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. If you want to burn him for that – like, making light of a violent act against a woman – so be it. Anyway, Sebastian originally left the IG up and made an apology in the comments. Now he’s deleted the IG and offered several more apologies and clarifications.

After reading some negative Instagram comments, Sebastian Stan cleared the air. “For anyone confused for whatever reason right now, please know that this was not meant to be offensive or make fun of a serious matter, but a lighthearted way to promote my movie, which is ALSO about a very serious subject matter,” he wrote. “So before you start throwing stones at me, recognize where I come from and the kind of person that I am and what I stand for. I’ve been very vocal about that. Thank you.” Amid backlash, Stan decided to delete the Instagram meme.

In the following weeks, Stan apologized for sharing the post by commenting on fans’ accounts. “Listen, guys, I’m sorry. I recognize the bad timing of my last post and I truly apologize to anyone who may have been offended by it,” he said. “It was in reference to an actual event that took place in 1994 which is now depicted in the movie I’m currently promoting. Nothing more.”

In response to the fan account@cinnamon_stan, the 35-year-old actor wrote, “I am truly sorry to the people that I have hurt and offended. I made a stupid joke. It was ignorant and careless. When I put up the post, I had not carefully researched the kneeling reference. In the past few days I have done the homework I should have done before absentmindedly posting that…To be clear on my values and where I stand…I am an immigrant and now an American citizen,” said the actor, who was born in Romania and also lived in Austria. “My parents and I came to this country when I was 12 years old. To be an American, growing up I have learned that you agree to support and uphold the constitution and all of its amendments, the freedom of speech and the right to peacefully protest in order to ensure equality and justice for all. Like many people, I am extremely anxious and worried about the things that I see on the news and in the world these days. I wish I could take it all back but here I am. I will strive to learn from this issue.”

Offering his sincerest apologies, Stan continued, “I appreciate the time and thought you put into your post, and going forward I promise to do the same. Lesson learned. Thank you again!”

[From E! News]

Since I’m not a Stan stan, I didn’t know he is an immigrant and a naturalized American citizen. So, I learned something new today. It sounds like Stan also learned something from this: don’t share memes on social media. Is that the lesson? Or is the lesson a bit trickier? So, is Sebastian Stan canceled now/still or should we accept his apology and understand that it was just a mis-timing, or a failure to properly read the national mood?

42nd Toronto International Film Festival - ‘I, Tonya’ - Premiere

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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20 Responses to “Sebastian Stan offered a longer apology for that ‘take a knee’ meme he shared”

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  1. OG Cleo says:

    I mean, it’s something I found amusing and probably would have sent to a few friends with similar senses of humor, but I’m socially cognizant enough to not share it publically.

    I don’t think an apology was necessary in the first place, but I’m not going to tell people not to be offended. In my opinion though, there are more important things to worry about than this joke.

  2. Ankhel says:

    Not forgiven. I demand a shirtless retraction.

    • MC2 says:

      I second that demand!

    • Lightpurple says:

      Oh, please. Fully nude or it is no apology

    • V4Real says:

      I was about to say he shouldn’t have apologized, it wasn’t necessary IMO. But since you guys are saying it would be a shirtless and pantless apology, ole boy needs to say sorry right away, cause , um, yeah, he offended the hell out of me.

  3. anna222 says:

    I think what he posted was questionable but not a huge deal in the current, horrid, scheme of things.
    My question is: am I the only person who knows him exclusively as that guy from the lesser season of gossip girl?

    • Maya says:

      NOPE! I always think of Carter Baizen when I see him!

    • V4Real says:

      I knew him from that witch movie I’ve seen about 7 times, no joke. It was called The Covenant. He was the bad witch. A lot of eye candy in that movie. Steven Strait, Taylor Kitsch, Sebastian Stan, yum.

  4. HH says:

    It’s not enough to “cancel” him. It wasn’t that serious for me. However, it is odd that he’s doing a movie that references that incident and still joked about it. That was an incredibly traumatic time for Nancy Kerrigan. I was a young child when this happened, but old enough to remember the seriousness of it. As someone said above, I don’t think it’s a big deal when shared privately, but this wasn’t a good public move.

  5. Nicole says:

    It was wrong on two fronts: the attack was horrible so not a joke. And the NFL protests are getting people death threats and its about police brutality. So not a joke there either.
    The lesson is think before you post. Seriously what is so hard?

  6. Leskat says:

    Honestly, in light of everything that’s going on, I don’t have time to be outraged about a meme anymore. People are seriously dying, in danger of losing their healthcare, there’s shootings and unrest, many people don’t have homes and have had their lives destroyed. Everyday there is another real life horror unfolding. I can’t spare the mental space to be breaking out the pitchforks and forming a mob over a photograph with some words on it. While I can understand why people could be mad about this, I’m not choosing this hill to die on.

    • M says:

      People put a lot of energy on small things. It was stupid, he acknowledged, apologized, let it go!

      • Leskat says:

        Yes, he said sorry, let’s work on the much bigger issues at hand now.

      • Aiobhan Targaryen says:

        His careless reposting and you and Leskat’s comments are symptoms of the main issue.

        The fact that neither of you see that is why there will always be careless reposting and backlash to the careless reposting.

  7. Aiobhan Targaryen says:

    I genuinely hope he means this and the lesson sticks and this is not just some pr stunt. It probably is but I still hope he learns and grows from this incident. He is too old to let this just pass by without learning anything. He doesn’t need to post many things on his social media pages, but he should speak out.

    It is now, more than ever very important for people (specifically people who identify as white) to stop being ignorant about important issues-especially the OG reason for Colin taking the knee. If it takes someone being dragged publically or online in order to burst their privileged bubbles, then so be it. It would be best to be curious and read different articles and books but not everyone is a reader. As long as they end up actually learning about it and, in the best case scenario, taking some action to help better people’s lives.

  8. Shannon says:

    I’ve seen tons of people share that. I found it amusing.

  9. Irene says:

    “I had not carefully researched the kneeling reference”?

    WTF does that mean? Has he been living under a rock?

    Man I love him but I’m gonna need him to never screw up again because boy can’t apologize to save his life. It doesn’t count when you’re making excuses for yourself at the same time.

  10. monette says:

    He hasd to apologize and I am satisfied how he did it. But don’t do it again, Sebi!!