The name Simon Cowell has never been synonymous with Mr. Nice Guy. Over the course of the last decade or so, he successfully transitioned from a behind-the-scenes A&R executive to one of the world's best known television personalities, largely because of his ability to cut amateur musicians to the bone with his bitingly frank criticism. And while every indication is that his American Idol franchise is waning in popularity, the most recent season of Britain's Got Talent made worldwide headlines and scored some of the largest British television ratings in years. Despite these successes, the very public mental and emotional breakdown of Susan Boyle — who has been erratically canceling concert dates in the U.K. and reportedly screaming for her cat from hotel balconies — has helped contribute to a strong backlash against Cowell for being both exploitative and insensitive. So, in an effort to help clear his reputation, Cowell took to the pages of London's Daily Mail over the weekend to write an impassioned mea culpa.
For those of you hoping that Cowell's editorial would contain the fury of a wounded animal backed into a corner, you're going to be sorely disappointed. Rather, for the first time ever, the renowned evil genius seemed generally concerned that everyone's perception of him is that he's a heartless monster. Over the course of some 3,000 words (!), Cowell waxes sentimental by declaring that "I didn't get into showbusiness [sic] to make little children cry or upset a nice lady like Susan Boyle" and admitting he has "made mistakes along the way." He even addressed the critics who put him on blast for making 11-year-old
Hollie Steel Aidan Davis cry after he berated him for turning in a lackluster performance on the Britain's Got Talent semifinal show:
It was a huge, huge mistake. It almost ruined the whole evening for everybody. Looking back, I know I could have been kinder.
Wow! While we're still not sure if the world is ready for a kinder, gentler Simon Cowell, we're just thankful he's got a better grasp of the English language than Michael Bay.