January 16, 2013


Experts available to discuss culture of celebrity confession, damage to Lance Armstrong brand


Hamilton, Ont. January 16, 2013Lance Armstrong’s much-anticipated interview with Oprah Winfrey has raised many questions about why he has now admitted to doping and whether or not his reputation can ever be rehabilitated.


McMaster University has experts available to comment on several elements of this unfolding story:


Cultural historian Stuart Henderson can place the Armstrong interview in the context of the “culture of guilt” and the emerging tradition of public apologies.



“From Facebook  to Twitter, juicy memoirs to self-flagellating TV shows like Louie and  Girls, we are surrounded by admissions of shame and error (moral and  otherwise),” says Henderson, an assistant professor and fellow in the Wilson Institute for Canadian History. “Why do we admit guilt? Why do we confess our sins? Not just for absolution but for the opportunity to start over. That's the old Christian idea, anyway, and in a secular society who better to go to for absolution than Oprah?”


Manish Kacker, an associate professor of marketing, can discuss whether or not the Armstrong brand can come back from the brink.  


"Lance Armstrong's interview with Oprah is likely to be the start of the long and difficult process of repairing his brand as well as limiting any damage to the Livestrong brand and organization," he says. 


Henderson is available by phone at 905-525-9140 ext. 27144 or stuarthenderson@mcmaster.ca 


Kacker can be reached directly at 905-525-9140, ext. 21658 or mkacker@mcmaster.ca.   


For more information contact:


Wade Hemsworth

Public Relations Manager

McMaster University

905-525-9140, ext. 27988



Michelle Donovan

Public Relations Manager

McMaster University

905-525-9140, ext. 22869