It’s been almost a year since we checked in on the case of “Django Unchained” actress Daniele Watts. You may recall that she got into a rather unpleasant confrontation with the police and was arrested for having sex in public and refusing to show ID when an officer responded to a complaint about lewd public behavior. Her claims that she was being racially profiled or discriminated against fell apart after it turned out that the entire affair had been recorded. Civil rights leaders later had to recant their initial evaluations and called on Watts to apologize rather than the police. Watts refused.
The demands for an apology were not so easily dismissed, and part of her plea bargain on the charges she faced as a result of her tall tales was an order from the court that she apologize to the police. That apology was finally delivered this month, but the judge has sent Watts and her significant other back to the drawing board because the proffered “apology” was completely insufficient. (NY Daily News)
The “Django Unchained” actress and beau Brian Lucas now have until Aug. 26 to submit revised letters after a judge and prosecutors rejected drafts submitted this week as part of their May plea deal.
“I’m glad they have to do a rewrite. No more excuses. She needs to say she was immature and she messed up and that she apologizes for creating the whole conflict,” arresting officer Jim Parker, now retired from the Los Angeles Police Department, told the Daily News.
I imagine that there will be accusations that Watts is being “harassed” by the court, but reading the excerpts from the “apology” it’s easy to see why it was rejected. First of all, she prefaced everything by pointing out that she was clearly not in the wrong and talked about how wonderful it was that the case had brought so much attention to the unfair treatment that interracial couples receive. Then, rather than going on to actually express regret, she once again accused the officer who was called to the scene of being at fault, even though full recordings of the event had shown that he did nothing that she accused him of.
“Looking on the brighter side, we do believe that the public discourse that surrounded our encounter was beneficial as it provided an opportunity for the public to discuss, and more deeply understand, the ‘taboo’ subject of interracial relationships,” the letter said…
“Sgt. Parker, when you said sarcastically, ‘Thank you for bringing up the race card. I never hear that,’ I felt provoked because I had previously encountered many disheartening experiences related to ‘being black’ both in my personal life, and as reflected in society overall. Your willingness to dismiss my experience with sarcasm was hurtful, and caused me to respond defensively,” she said.
The, she finally gets to the “apology” portion of the letter.
“We are truly sorry that our expression of love caused such a disturbance to your lives that you felt it threatening enough to warrant police involvement,” Watts and Lucas wrote.
This is a classic #SorryNotSorry as it’s hashtagged on Twitter by you crazy kids. Despite having been revealed as a fabulist who made up the entire race card accusations to cover up her own culpability, Watts “apologized” for exposing the cop as a hateful racist. This letter not only failed completely as any sort of an apology, but actually advanced the more serious charge she faced from the original allegations. This was insulting and, frankly, tone deaf from beginning to end. Her attorney is assuring the court that the couple plans on submitting a letter which complies with the lawful orders, but why do they need another bite at the apple?
When the original plea was entered last May, the agreement to have the charges reduced was based on an order that the couple serve one-year formal diversions, complete 40 hours of community service at a court-approved facility and both Lucas and Watts must write apology letters to their arresting officers. Having the reduced charge and lesser penalty was contingent upon completing all of those requirements. The letter was not an apology… it was an accusation. It sounds to me as if that should qualify as a #fail (Sorry. I’m apparently on a hashtag kick today) and see the courts revert to what the original charges and penalties would have been.
Rather than complaining about the unfairness of the system which has allowed her to rise to the heights of success and fortune, Watts should be thankful that she’s getting so many chances here. It’s an easier path than she might have been walking.