Jennifer Lawrence Apologizes—Social Media Isn’t Pleased

Jennifer Lawrence had a rough week in December 2016.

The Hunger Games star caught flack recently for a story she told on the Graham Norton Show back in 2012. In a clip that recently went viral, Lawrence discussed a shoot in which she sat atop stones at a sacred Hawaiian site. Her situation provides some key lessons in reputation management.

After mentioning that one isn’t allowed to sit on the stones, she laughed about scratching her butt on one of them, which caused a rock to dislodge and destroy sound equipment. Lawrence finished the story by joking about the natives’ belief that her transgression had brought upon a curse.

Lawrence’s story seemed to be a hit with the show’s audience, but many on the internet were not pleased with the remarks, calling her actions—and boastful nonchalance in recounting them—deeply insensitive. While Lawrence claimed to have been unaware of the stones’ sacred significance at the time of the shoot, she showed no remorse in telling the story after the fact. After Lawrence issued an apology on her Facebook page, criticisms continued pouring in.

Jennifer Lawrence issued an apology on her Facebook page
Lawrence apologized via this statement

The Three Rules of Apologizing on Social Media

In an effort for reputation management following a social media scandal, the way you respond can either be your saving grace or lead audiences double down on their negative view. There are three big rules when it comes to responding or apologizing to an audience’s concerns:

  1. Listen to what your audience has to say.
  2. Be human in your response to criticism.
  3. Explain how you’ll ensure it won’t happen again.

Many took issue with Lawrence’s apology because it didn’t actually respond to their criticisms. Addressing her apology to “the internet” rather than native Hawaiians is the obvious example of this. Second, she apologized for the average user taking offense, rather than apologizing for her actions that’d been called out: desecrating a sacred site.

Jennifer Lawrence’s apology

If your apology is tone deaf or noncommittal to critics, there’s little reason to give one at all. Audiences can read through the PR-speak and tell when someone isn’t being sincere. Therefore, it’s essential you take your audience’s concerns with care and respond faithfully.

Finally, you can turn a bad situation into a good one by taking the time to educate yourself or your audience, perhaps spotlighting organizations or charities related to the situation. In Lawrence’s case, she could have discussed in detail how who she is today differs from who she was four years ago. She also could have mentioned an organization such as the Ko’olau Foundation, which maintains the preservation of sacred sites like the one she desecrated.

If you’re a larger brand exercising damage control, it’s also a good idea to listen and monitor discussion around your brand to respond directly to individuals’ concerns.

A Social Media Misstep Doesn’t Deserve Abuse

In a firestorm, you may find your profiles flooded and overwhelmed with angry comments and critics. It’s a bad idea to stifle criticism—censoring only makes things worse—but that doesn’t mean you should disregard abusive comments hurled at you or your brand. Criticism is valid; abusive, harmful remarks are not. In fact, cutting out such harmful comments allows you to seek and respond to genuine engagement—even the negative comments—faster and easier.

Unfortunately, comment moderation tools native to social media platforms don’t often work in real time. They’re also easy to bypass using spelling variations and untraditional spacing. Smart Moderation, though, is different: powered by machine learning, it’s a powerful AI that can moderate comments on your profiles in real time, erasing spam, abusive comments and profanity within the minute that it’s posted.

It can be difficult to set things right amidst a flurry of criticism online, but real time automated comment moderation can help streamline your response to engagement—therefore quickening your damage control efforts as you monitor your community and devise a statement. Before you’re in hot water, try Smart Moderation out for free, and consider implementing a proactive social media disaster plan!

132 comments

  1. I hear Dadamo has amassed a war chest of close to $ 100K. I would sure like to know why he decided in the end not to run. I am also hearing that Dadamo is gearing up for a municipal run, potentially even for Mayor. It will certainly make for an interesting 2010!

  2. Muslimer: Sluta upp med att koppla ihop våld, terror, mord, våldtänkt, upplopp, bilbränning, halshuggning, förtryck, ljugande, ambassadbränning, terrorattentak, självmordsbombare, kvinnoförakt mm med er religion.Det är BARA muslimerna som kan ta bort denna koppling. Till skillnad från er Muslimer kan vi faktiskt läsa och vi kan dra slutsatser utan att blint tro på gamla sagor och övernaturliga förklaringar på allting.Ha en God Jul med massor av skinka, hundar som skäller och rena snygga skosulor inomhus.

  3. Hey, I just hopped over to your web site via StumbleUpon. Not somthing I might generally read, but I appreciated your views none the less. Thank you for making some thing worthy of browsing.

  4. “He contributed, with other IPCC authors, to the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.” This makes no sense, he didn’t contribute to the award.He was a sharing and ‘contributing’ ‘recipient of’ the award!Besides, the award is worthless. Obama received one for “contributions to Peace”! They can be bought for favours and obeying orders.

  5. Josh, I agree with your general principles stated here. My wondering is whether to obey laws of segregation *IS* in fact disobedient to Scripture. Loving one’s neighbor, perhaps? I haven’t decided on this myself, but it is certainly an issue I consider ripe for debate.

  6. Loved reading the update and so enjoyed the videos. Looks like Maya and Zoe are enjoying Christmas and be back at home.Hope 2011 will be a healthier, happy and joyful year for your family!! Take care and I would love to bring Neva to see you after I have recuperated! Love to you all,Gail

  7. I saw your film today in SF – The Roxie Theatre. Great work! I think you have opened up the gates for great discussion and change in the US and Canada. A suggestion: Make a 10 minute short of the film and post it to Youtube.com I bet your message will spread by wild fire! Perhaps, you could position it as a follow-up to the Mesa incident. Bless you!Punam Shaida (SF)

  8. Hey Luka.I’m fred, 18 years old. So i’d like to aks a simple question. so Am i too old to speak english with a corect native or (native-like accent? You know how i mean. I don’t want the Americans to know that i’m not from there or Canada. I’m already pretty good. I just want to know what you think as a language genius. ( i jusd moved to St.John’s by the way so im in an english skeaking country :DThank youFred

  9. I often hear people saying that they’d like to start making some extra money to complement their full time job, but they don’t know what to do. I also didn’t know what to do until last year when I decided to teach myself. If you have any questions on how I did this send me an email at

  10. Maya,First off, I am friends with your wonderful friend CC. She cares so much about you and your family…….quite frankly it’s contagious. I could proceed to write you a bunch of trite sayings but to be honest, I don’t have any magical words. Only you know what you’re going through with your precious son. Please do not apologize for your feelings. Again, nobody knows what you’re going through. Just know that there are hundreds of thousands supporting you, your family and especially Ronan.

  11. seriously inspiring post darling! I do believe in positive thinking and dreaming is a very healthy thing to do…I just forget to do it, or let the world make me forget to do it, with the boring daily tasks, mind-numbing jobs… I do believe that when you stop dreaming you are more prone to depression, anxiety and all sorts of unhealthy issues. Smiling is also a good thing and needs to be done at least once every 30 minutes

  12. Wow – roadschooling that's awesome! Your children get some awesome experiences! Saw you on Hip Homeschooling. Nice to meet you! Can't wait to read more about your journey so I signed up to follow you! I invite you to come visit my hoemschool blog back! :)Enjoy your travels! God be with you! :)Nicole

  13. Why shouldn’t these people believe in the power of talk, talk, talk, talk and more talk? They took over all of Western civilization, using just talking and writing, talking and writing. They convinced a whole 3500-year culture to commit suicide, just with their talking and writing, talking and writing, talking and writing.

  14. Yay Stephanie. This is going to be an adventure in many ways. Can’t wait to see what’s in store in serving Him there with you and others. What Joy I have just at the thought of it. My heart breaks when I look at the faces of the Compassion Children. Hoping September will be a BIG month for them with new sponsorships!!!! May God give us both just the right words to say in our posts during September and everyday.

  15. the States will not win their objection to Government Mandate for citizens to buy Private Company Health Insurance. They use Taxes, Social Security & Medicare as examples of Government Mandates that were allowable, ignoring the fact that Obamacare is not Government Insurance, it’s a mandate for you to buy Private Insurance. They then liken it to Automobile Insurance, which you don’t pay if you don’t drive. Not so with Obamacare, you pay whether you use it or not. We need a new Law that says Government can not fabricate lies to achieve dubious ends.

  16. J’aime pas trop taper sur LeMonde, mais avant hier, dans un article sur une drogue qui fait des ravages, il etait écrit quatre fois qu’elle était prisée du milieu gay, introduite par les gays… etc… C’était gerbant et c’était la veille d’un autre article sur l’homophobie sur Internet. Donc merci Martin !

  17. Foxessa: Or one thinks about how individuals learn. (Speaking from my own teaching experience.)I like that point about one person as opposed to a group.However, if there is a dominant person in a group, they can wrench things off the rails or else be inspiring, depending.

  18. I love hummingbirds, my mother always had a feeder for them and I recently found myself with these beauties in my yard. I have a feeder and in the spring and summer trumpet flowers, lavender, and many other blooms for them to drink from. My question is this…in your article, you mentioned NOT to use food coloring…what do you use to color the water to attract them to feed? I only want to do the best for them. And how do I get close enough to photograph them close up and even better, land in my hand? Thank yo in advance for your help….Vicki

  19. they should not be compensated from Gaddafi's assets FROZEN BY THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT.He urges individual Jews to use legal channels in Libya to claim compensation. But if the Iraqi precedent is anything to go by, the Jews will get nothing.Maybe we do need a heavyweight like Anthony Julius on board.

  20. I used my Outlook address book to send a connection invite to LinkedIn.Problem is….after I connected with those that chose to connect/sign-up….the rest of them continue to get repeated “invites” over and over again every few days. A friend showed me the invite…and apparently there is no “opt-out” for these people.Is there a way I can stop these people from getting continued invites after the fact?Thanks!

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  22. Hi . . . . My sweet frnd Rashi ilove u ,u r so lovely rashi,muje tmhra hasna boht acha lagta ha.rashi ma drama tmhre waja c dekhta,jab kokila tm ko dantee ha to muje kokila pe bht gusa ata ha or jab tm roti ho to muje bht dukh hota ha.

  23. Very good blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any tips? Many thanks!

  24. Granny, "Sorry, but Hillary is very happy and content with her position. She loves her job. You can see it in her face."Then who else can the Dems come up with, Biden? Surely they want someone White who can win and know how to wheel the power against the GOP?I am sure with a little negotiation HRC will run. She has wanted it for the longest.

  25. Tetszik ez a recept,s ki is próbálom.Viszont teljesen egyetértek Duendével.Mi sok főzeléket ettünk gyerekkoromban,s a mai napig szeretem szinte mindegyiket.Kevés rántással v.habarással igenis finom,tápláló étele a mindennapoknak.Az a baj szerintem,hogy sokan nehezen vonatkoztatnak el a menzás változattól.

  26. Kimberly PuglianoJuly 25, 2012I was the smart one and the pretty one but didn’t live up to my potential and didn’t think I was pretty. And the husband dating…best thing that happened to me. Made me take control of my son and I for the first time.

  27. Do not fear my dear Andy, sansele sa ma convertesc la modelele de succes din Romania sunt nule:) Motiv pentru care probabil ca n-o sa am niciodata succes:))Anyway, calm CU COmentariile, nu te scarmena nimeni. Primesc mizerii mult mai mari decat iti poti inchipui (iar atata timp cat nu sunt vulgare, le public) dar serios ca am si alta treaba decat sa dau importanta fiecarui nimeni:)

  28. Bonjour, je découvre ce blog à l’instant et le moins que l’on puisse dire est que les articles sont très sympa mais celui-ci me déroute particulièrement… Je suis abasourdie de constater la préférence pour les culottes, mais bon, on fait de la lingerie vraiment sexy même en matière de culotte

  29. Creo que todas tenemos "nuestra basura preferida", yo lo que siempre guardo pensando que algun dia lo ocuparé son las botellas de vidrio de jugos del valle,las etiquetas de la ropa que al igual que algunas de ustedes nunca las eh utilizadoo jaja, estaba empezando a guardar las cartones de leche jaja pero hasta que un dia me preguntee. En verdad las vas a ocupar? Jajaja y mejor decidi tirarlas 😀 jaja BUEN POST!!!!!

  30. צר לי לי על הפציעה שלך וצר לי לשמוע על ההתמשכות שלה. אני מאד נהנה לקרוא את מה שאתה כותב, על ריצה ועל בכלל. תמשיך כך.

  31. mis felicitacione para ernesto villanueva, desenmascarar a la gente ignorante que se dice “titulada”, es un bien para la sociedad de michoaán no se merece esa escoria de servidores públicos, es aberrante e indigno que ostente esos cargos sin cubrir el pérfil, lo único que van hacer aparte deimprovisar es estruir a la adminstración pública con sus “conocimientos”….ya basta de simulacioes enseñenle a ese “Vejete” de fausto que gobierne con gente honesta y capaz.atte.lic. jorge alberto moctezuma pinedaegresado de la uam 1993actualmente secretario particulardel procurador fiscal del distrito federal

  32. Twórca:) pisze:Już rok nawet w Play minął. Korzystam z Play Fresh (na kartę) i jestem zadowolony Dodatkowo w wakacje skorzystałem z tańszego niż u konkurencji Roamingu.

  33. Jeremy,Remember A.I? A lock of hair can go a long way!On a more serious note, I imagine that the reason why people hold on to these physical items, religious matters aside, is because it is probably the closest they will ever get to the person and it is something more tangible than pictures or writing. I do have a lock of hair from my grandma who passed away years ago.Take care.Sandrine

  34. A fabulous initiative and the results will be very interesting I am sure! I look forward to seeing them here. The whole position of School Librarians around the world is tenuous and most feel very insecure at this time. PD is vitally important to our sustaining the viability of our changing roles both publically and within schools. I was told just this week that my main role was that of reading materials provider and reading faciltiator! And this in a High School! Frustrating to say the least!

  35. Klingt nach einem richtig guten Duft. Auf deinen Tipp habe ich auch die Winterversion deiner Vorstellung gekauft. Der Duft nach Zuckerwatte und Weihnachtsmarkt. Es ist mir zu süß. Dieses klingt schon besser und ich werde mal schnuppern. Hab ein schönes Wochenende meine Liebe. PS: Dein Schlafzimmer ist wunderschön. Ich habe unser Wohnzimmer gebloggt, wenn du gucken magst.

  36. Love your shots, natures beauty in all, the last shot is Gorgeous! Sometimes life gets us and takes us in and our blogs get lost. Been there! I will be watching for the themeless linky, exciting.

  37. Holy cow! I just had a very similar birthday 4 days after Christmas and I too am almost half-dead, with a 5, 3, and 8 month old whose children will be born as I am being lowered into the ground. and get this, our new dyson is on it’s way. No lie!! But my husband bought it. And i guess it’s a subtle hint to stop wallowing and get to work.

  38. yo creo que por este lado puedo cumplir mi sueño, pensana como hacer para que en el futuro la gente recuerde mi nombre y queda guardado en la historia, entonces el lado esta orientado al estudio del cerebro… y aplicandolo a mi carrera la ingenieria de software

  39. I haven't even started this series, although I would like to.  It is too bad that this one was a disappointment.  I find this to be the case all too often when a series gets up there in number.  Thanks for the informative review.

  40. Hei du, så du var innom min Abc. Tusen takk! Du har helt rett, det er ikke et norskt tog, men et svenskt. Vi bor ikke langt fra grensa, og det var så fint ved skinnegangen den dagen. Måtte jo titte inn og forklare mgd da.Ha en fortsatt fin kveld:)

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  44. Of course, if one takes the view that Hegel's philosophy is a purely reflective one and offers no insight into "practical" problems (such as those found in contemporary legal or moral problems), then Hegel's failure to establish the boundary of individual choice, intention, and responsibility may not be a failure at all: Perhaps from some grand philosophical and reflective (or religious) perspective, it is appropriate to say that human actors "will" _everything_ in the universe that their individual actions precipitate or help to precipitate.

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