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Opinion | ‘Sorry’ for Being So Blunt



What a luxury anonymity is. In the Dark Age of cancel culture, the un-self-conscious behavior and unpoliced thoughts of a private citizen are underrated. Yes, the fervent hordes clattering around TikTok and reality TV attest that many still prize celebrity, influence and their attendant financial promise. But fame’s pitfalls, heightened by the eternal internet, also are underrated.

Consider Emily Blunt, a movie star who recently prostrated herself after being savaged online for fat-shaming. Her offense? Describing a woman who served her at Chili’s as “enormous.” Ms. Blunt unleashed the epithet more than a decade ago on “The Jonathan Ross Show,” a U.K. television program where she was appearing to flog her latest film. Mr. Ross, who like Ms. Blunt is British, was whooping it up with his guest about lavish food portions in the New World, joking that “you can see why so many of our American friends are enormous.” Ms. Blunt joined in with her account of the meal at Chili’s—“the girl that was serving me was enormous”—without specifying which outpost in the nationwide chain she patronized.

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