From an AFP article:
BBC Three, one of the public broadcaster's digital TV channels, sent an e-mail to the Bob Marley Foundation saying it wanted to do a documentary about his hit song "No Woman No Cry". It said the project would involve Marley -- who died of cancer in May 1981 at the age of 36 -- "spending one or two days with us", and that "it would only work with some participation from Bob Marley himself".
And as their apology:
In a statement, the BBC said: "We are obviously very embarrassed that we didn't realise that the letter to the Marley Foundation did not acknowledge that Mr Marley is no longer with us."
Now what in the hell is wrong with people? I fully understand not having heard of Bob Marley's death. I'm not the most hip of people myself, and still only have the vaguest idea of who Tupac and BIG were (though I at least know that they're dead). And reggae isn't the most widely listened to of musics, even though Marley so completely transcended the genre to the point that he's the only reggae artist that most people listen to. But music's not everyone's thing, so I'm not holding that against them. No one knows everything.
But what in the hell's the matter with their apologizing skills? Not even the apology so much, as their inability to fess up to a screw up? Because look at that. Their damn apology didn't actually apologize for what they did. In fact, one would assume from the apology that they had known that Marley was dead, but just forgot to mention it in the letter. As if they just didn't think his death was very important, rather than something that they were completely oblivious to. And unless they were expecting Zombie Marley to come strolling into their studio for the interview, they were completely oblivious to it. When they sent that first letter, they fully expected Bob Marley to show up in the flesh and give them that interview. They couldn't have done even the tiniest bit of research of Marley before sending it, or they would have have heard about the obvious monkey-wrench in their plans. They just tossed off a letter to some reggae guy and expected him to commit to the project...though they didn't know the least bit about him; like that he was dead, for example.
And again, that's not my problem. Everyone makes mistakes, and I'm far from excluded from that myself. But it's the cover-up that's pissing me off. It's like they thought the Marley Foundation was such a bunch of pothead rastas that they would be duped into thinking that the great BBC hadn't fucked up. And maybe they were. Maybe they were like "Hey, mon. They knew. They just forgot to acknowledge it in the letter, mon." Or something to that effect. I don't know. I've never been to the Marley Foundation or the BBC, so I don't really know how that kind of thing works. But that still doesn't excuse nothing. The dummies at the BBC screwed up and they just couldn't come clean about it.
And why am I writing so much about this? I just don't know. I just really really hate phoney apologies that fail to acknowledge what the apology is for. It's like a politician who apologizes for offending people, while continuing to assert that he didn't do anything wrong. It's like they're trying to make you feel stupid for being offended, rather than actually admitting that they did something wrong. And sometimes that's true. But the BBC folks did do something wrong. Nothing big. But wrong nonetheless. And that they couldn't apologize for such an understandable and forgivable mistake is simply a bad sign for mankind. Or maybe I'm just drunk. It's Friday night and I'm spoiling for a fight. Look at me the wrong way and I'll cut you. Just like a knife.