It’s not often that one of the world’s most admired spiritual leaders who describes himself as an advocate for warm-heartedness, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, and self-discipline finds himself in the midst of a PR crisis. 

A video filmed in February 2023 of the Dalai Lama asking a young boy to ‘suck’ his tongue went viral in April. Although some people have argued that there has been a cultural misunderstanding, the overwhelming majority of responses have been vehemently critical. In this episode, you will hear a line-by-line dissection of the very problematic public apology that the Dalai Lama made in the wake of the negative responses to the video.


Key Points From This Episode:


  • The video that led the Dalai Lama to receive a lot of negative attention in the media. 
  • Who the Dalai Lama is and the values that he advocates for. 
  • Controversial statements that the Dalai Lama has made in the past. 
  • The argument in defense of the Dalai Lama’s actions in the video. 
  • The overwhelming response that the video received. 
  • How the Dalai Lama publicly responded to the outcry about the video.
  • Problems with the Dalai Lama’s public apology. 
  • Unpacking the DARVO strategy. 
  • Tactics that should always be avoided in public responses.
  • Advice on what to do if you are involved in an incident that goes viral. 



Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:


Dalai Lama apologizes after video asking boy to ‘suck my tongue’

Dalai Lama apologizes after video show him asking boy to ‘suck my tongue’

Dalai Lama apologizes after video asking child to ‘suck’ his tongue sparks outcry

Statement | The 14th Dalai Lama

Analysis of the Dalai Lama apology on TikTok

Molly McPherson 

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