It Took Over 20 Years for Kurt Loder to Apologize to Jewel

It Took Over 20 Years for Kurt Loder to Apologize to Jewel

by Hedy Phillips

When TV personality Kurt Loder criticized Jewel’s grammar during an appearance on MTV back in 1998, it cut her deep. It’s been more than 20 years and she still hasn’t forgotten the upsetting encounter, but it took the interview resurfacing for Loder to finally apologize.

Jewel sat down with Loder to discuss her book of poetry, A Night Without Armor, but rather than be supportive of her sharing her art, he chose to poke fun of her grammar and some of word choice throughout. She said in an interview with Stereogum last week that after he tried to call out her lack of education, she was just immediately over it. "I just remember looking at him and like saying, 'Fuck you,'" she said.

"I am uneducated, straight-up," she continued. "An uneducated kid that was homeless. You’re a college-educated man going after a kid, Fuck you. I was so pissed." She added that up until then, she hadn’t received an apology from Loder for trying to tear her down on TV for literally no reason.

Of course, once Jewel’s interview landed, it made its way to Loder and he issued an apology through YahooEntertainment, though it’s probably too little too late at this point. "That MTV interview I did with Jewel was a s****y thing to do to anyone, and I've been ashamed of having done it ever since,” he said in a statement. “If I could go back in time I'd smack me in the head. However, I'm not a college graduate."

As it was, Jewel had to fight to get her poetry book published in the first place, she told Stereogum, saying that “poetry’s wildly unpopular” and publishers were reluctant to take it on. But they did, and it was incredibly successful — yet it was met with criticism, as so much of Jewel’s career was. “I don’t know why that book really pissed people off, and it was met with a tremendous amount of cynicism,” she told Stereogum. But that feedback had toughened her up over time, and she said she felt prepared to take some heat from Loder. “...but when he was setting me up, I couldn’t figure out why he was setting me up,” she added.

The incident is just one of a handful of concerning interviews Jewel has had over the years, which she shared with Stereogum. After a Rolling Stone cover story went wrong in 1998, she said she unleashed on an Entertainment Weekly reporter, which gave her a sort-of reputation, but she’s not sorry at all for standing up for herself. “I lived the life, I stood up for the things I wanted to stand up for, and you do it because it’s the right thing to do. But it is fun to be around long enough to be able to talk about it,” she shared.

Photo via Getty/ Frans Schellekens/ Redferns