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Mel Gibson's Tuesday apology for an anti-Semitic rant after his drunken driving arrest came several days too late, celebrity crisis management experts say. ...
"In the first 24 hours, people start forming opinions," said Richard Levick, whose Washington firm represents several celebrity clients. "He has constantly been behind the story and needs to get out front. What he's done through actions is turned perception into reality. People presume he is anti-Semitic."
Mel, come on! This is Image Restoration Strategies 101! Get out in front! You should have gone straight to mortification.
Previous research has provided a list of image restoration strategies that celebrities may employ. They are: denial, evasion of responsibility, reducing offensiveness of event, corrective action, and mortification (Benoit, 1997). [Mortification, literally "putting the flesh to death," is defined here as full admission of guilt and apology for the event.]
For more on mortification, see here.