We have heard so many empty apologies from so many people over the years, that most of us have become quite cynical, questioning the person’s sincerity or their motives. We tend to ask ourselves whether the person is being genuine or not, Well in the case of David Letterman’s apology to his staff and to his wife Regina, his body language, facial expression and tone all reflected that he was definitely being sincere and genuine.
When he apologized to the staff he openly looks directly into the camera with palms raised up and in an open position for all to see, his body language indicates that he has nothing to hide. In addition you see his head bowed hidden between his raised shoulders which indicates embarrassment
But then as you can see above, you see him show signs of anger as his fists become clenched when he says “
“ And if it did not occur to me when I was having sex with women who worked on this show that reporters and newspaper people and radio and TV would start hounding the staff . “
Then his hands open up as he looks directly in the camera and says in a subdued and sincere inflected tone, “ No I am not having sex with these women. Those episodes have been on the past. So my apologies for subjecting them to that vulnerability and being browbeaten. And humiliated”
As Letterman says the word “humiliated” he immediately looks down. Thus, you you can see the how he most definitely must have felt humiliated by this entire experience.
By his facial expression, you can clearly see that he is extremely uncomfortable so in adding some levity to the situation he points to a band member and says in a deadpan expression “ In fact Alan Kayer kept wanting to know if we had sex, Do you remember that? Alan answers “We did and I don’t remember.” which broke the seriousness of mood and got a huge laugh from the audience.
But then Letterman looks back into the camera and in a louder, even more inflected tone says how the staff has been wonderfully supportive to him now just with this incident but throughout the years.
Suddenly his mood changes dramatically as his face completely changes he gets very serious. His forehead shows a vertical creased indicating the gravity of what he is about to say as hands are splayed open as if to openly beg for forgiveness. When he speaks of hurting his wife Regina there is a flash that comes across his facial expression that looks as though he is about to cry as he stammers through the beginning statement by saying, “My uh wife uh Regina has been horribly hurt uh “.
The consistent use of “uh’s” and stammering shows his obvious in discomfort in bearing his soul and his personal relationship on the air for all to hear and see. He immediately bows his head down to indicate extreme embarrassment as he goes on to say
“ If you hurt a person and it’s your responsibility you try to fix it, “as he talks candidly facing directly into the camera. It can go either way . You can either work it out or go the other way, “ he says.
Then he points both pointer fingers directly in front of him as though he were pointing two guns into the camera. When people point one finger at someone it is an accusatory gesture at the person to whom they are pointing. But whne one points both finger outwards it is often a self accusatory gesture. This was obviously the case here with Letterman accusing himself of wrongdoing.
Then you see a flash of the expression of fear come across his face as he says wide eded to the audience
“ Lemme tell you I’ve got my work cut out for me.”
He interlocks his fingers which is a reflective gesture as well as a pious gesture often showing humility, He then closes his mouth and bows his head in contrition He looks very sad.
As the audient applauds, he continues to looks uncomfortable and places his finger over his mouth as if to say “I don’t want to say anything else about what I did to Regina. It’s too painful .
”It takes a big person to apologize for their wrong doings and an even bigger person to apologize sincerely and genuinely, something David Letterman clearly did. Perhaps that is why he even garnered higher ratings the following night. People want to see someone who is real and not phone., They want to see someone who is genuine and means what they say