Matt Mondanile of Ducktails, and former member of Real Estate recently published a statement of apology in regards to his sexual misconduct toward multiple women. Mondanile posted the apology on the Ducktails Facebook page and shared links on Twitter and Instagram. An apology is usually a step in the right direction. However, Mondanile’s apology was problematic, to say the least. He received much criticism and negative feedback for what he said. His words give the sense that he is not sorry for what he has done, but he is sorry that he got caught.
His apology starts out with a humble brag about a donation he made to RAINN. He acknowledges that it won’t remedy any of his actions, yet he spoke about it like it made his apology go above and beyond. In a tweet reply that has been deleted, Mondanile responded to criticism by revealing the amount of his donation. His need to respond to those who did not accept his apology makes it seem disingenuous. He also retweeted publications who posted stories about his statement.
The second paragraph of his apology was disappointingly problematic as well. He gives specific details about his relationship with Julia Holter, whose laywers sent Mondanile a letter demanding that he stop contacting her. Naming someone who he has victimized and giving details about it can be seen as a significant act of disrespect by Mondanile, especially since he cannot get permission from Holter to discuss such details.
There is also a clear disconnect in Mondanile’s intention and his understanding of the consequences for his actions. He called what happened to him a “public shaming.” It was a public shaming, but he is a public figure who acted in a shameful way. Most adults have some grasp on the fact that actions have consequences (I also would not consider tweets saying “Hey fuck that guy” or having your music temporarily removed from streaming services that serious of consequences in comparison to Mondanile’s actions). He also cites that he has “lost countless friends from [his] behavior and more since [he] was publicly outed.” I’m not so sure why this came as a surprise to him. I don’t know anyone who wants to associated with a predator.
The whole statement left me open mouthed and speechless, but the real kicker comes when he states:
“I never considered myself a misognyist or sexual predator. Some of my best friends are former girlfriends of mine. I’ve released many albums by female artists on my label and worked hard to get their music distributed well and reviewed by music publications over the past six years.”
This is the equivalent of saying “I’m not a misogynist because I have interacted with women in a non predatory way at some point in my life.” Such a statement is a gross oversight and shows a lack of understanding of just how serious Mondanile’s behavior is.
Exposed predators, abusers, and exploiters of power are now left scrambling and trying to save their standing in life with uninformed apologies and half-hearted olive branches. They might not see how problematic it is, but everyone else sees it as plain as day. Mondanile and numerous others who have attempted to apologize for their actions say “I’m sorry,” but analyzing the context says “I’m sorry I go caught.”
ADDENDUM: Mondanile recently posted this tweet, which includes a picture of actress Diane Keaton. Keaton recently tweeted voiced support for her friend Woody Allen and believes that he is telling the truth in regards to numerous allegations of sexual abuse against him made by his stepdaughter. Making light of sexual abuse and misconduct in such a way destroys any shred of sincerity and integrity that might have existed in Mondanile’s statement of apology.
by Hayley Robertson