Katherine Heigl Apologizes For Controversial Graveyard Photoshoot: What Was She Doing!?

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Katherine Heigl made a mistake. And, unlike many celebrities who have been called out for mistakes, she's not dismissing criticism as "haters" and "trolls."

She's owned her error and apologized, thanking her fans for what they said.

This is the way to do it, folks. Take a look:

Katherine Heigl 02

Katherine Heigl shared her post-baby body just months ago and earned praise.

But when she shared humorous photos of various tombstones and other grave markers from a trip to a cemetary, fans were quick to point out that making light of the dead was not in great taste.

See, she had posed alongside these grave markers and shared the images on social media, along with funny captions.

(Remember, some of those people probably have real, living descendants who remember them and won't see the humor in your posts)

So Heigl took to Instagram video to apologise.

Katherine Heigl, Sunset in Toronto

"Hey everybody," Heigl says. "So I’m in the car driving home from my family time in Buffalo." 

It seems like a shame to go to Buffalo in the summer and miss the city's legendary snow, but oh well.

Heigl continues, saying: "and I noticed on my Instagram page that the post I posted earlier was getting a lot of reaction."

Instead of turning off comments or doubling down, as so many would have done, she listened.

Heigl kept an open mind "and I realized you guys are right and that was not appropriate and was disrespectful and I’ve taken it down."

It's true! The only remainder of the humorous posts is a video of her husband, Josh Kelley, on his page as he pretends to walk hand-in-hand with a ghost ...

Josh Kelley Graveyard GIF

(Some might consider it irreverent, but it's not about any specific tombstones, so it's fine.)

The actress then explains, for anyone who missed the discourse, why her previous posts were insensitive.

"But somebody commented," Heigl says. "And … was kind of just saying they didn’t think it was an appropriate thing to do."

That person (whose name she can't remember at the moment) also guessed her motive.

Heigl says that this commenter called her out, but knew "that I was probably trying to make a hard moment lighthearted and that’s exactly what I was doing."

Katherine Heigl 01

Graveyards can be emotionally challenging to visit.

On top of the more obvious grief, sometimes seeing a grave for the first time can make something much more real than it is.

It definitely makes sense that she was tried to lighten her own mood.

"It’s kind of a heavy thing to go and visit my loved ones’ graves," Heigl explains. "And I decided to try to find some moments of levity and humor and didn’t realize how inappropriate I was being."

Really, the only inappropriate part was putting that levity on Instagram.

"So I deeply apologize," Heigl continues. "And I thank you guys for understanding that sometimes I don’t think things through clearly enough."

Katherine Heigl 03

That can happen to any one of us, any day of the week. Most of us just don't have millions of fans who will instantly see our mistakes.

Heigl then thanks her fans: "And I am grateful for your input and for kind of giving me a head’s up when I’m maybe going too far."

That is such a good response.

"And thank you," Heigl adds. "For forgiving me."

Heigl continues her message in a second video, which we merged with the first in this post for your convenience.

"Next time," Heigl says. "I will be more thoughtful about other people’s feelings and not just my own."

Katherine Heigl at the 2014 Emmys

It's great to look after your own feelings! But while social media is wonderful, some things are just a little too insensitive to share.

"Anyway," Heigl continues. "I hope you’re all having a wonderful Sunday."

She addresses this with the perfect attitude -- a combination of friendliness and sincerety.

Heigl adds: "and again, thank you for kind of stepping up and saying something."

It can be so easy, she knows, to be obsequious on social media when speaking to celebrities.

Katherine Heigl and Josh Kelley Pic

Heigl concludes: "and bringing something to my awareness that needed to be brought."

In case you're wondering why Heigl is earning praise for her simple apology, you have to remember the following:

The celebrity bubble tends to reinforce the idea that there are people who just want to tear them down.

When Khloe Kardashian feels outraged when fans give her advice, that's part of it.

Some celebs will get defensive and double down on their negative actions or statements.

Katherine Heigl and Josh Kelley: 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards

We could easily imagine someone posting funny photos from a cemetary and then responding to criticism with something like:

"What? Are we not allowed to take silly pictures with the Great Pyramids? They're giant tombs!!"

Or something like that.

While celebrities are right to ignore trolls, not every criticism comes from a "hater."

Heigl should be commended for knowing how to parse the difference and read comments with an open mind.

Also? Can we just add that those glasses are such a great look on her.

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Katherine Heigl Biography

Katherine Heigl Laughs
Everyone knows Katherine Heigl by now. She's the hot (and full of hot air) Grey's Anatomy star. The tall, blonde one with the amazing... More »
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Katherine Heigl