There are some phrases that stick with us for a lifetime. Some have been with us since childhood like "Hakuna Matata," and others, like "hot girl summer," are more recent inventions. Thanks to former child star and Hustlers actress Keke Palmer it looks like we'll be adding another expression into the pop culture lexicon: "Sorry to this man." Now, Palmer is setting up shop for "Sorry to this man" merch, so we can all be sorry for the men in our lives—Dick Cheney and anyone else you want to unintentionally shade.
The phrase entered our collective consciousness last week when Palmer sat in the hot seat for Vanity Fair's infamous lie detector test. But because this is the internet, people are fixated on the 20 seconds when she couldn't recognize former Vice President Dick Cheney. "I hate to say it, and I hope I don't sound ridiculous, I don't know who this man is," she says. "I mean, he could be walking down the street… I wouldn't know a thing. Sorry to this man," she says as she pushes his photo away from her sight. The phrase instantly secured meme status.
Luckily for us, Palmer is now channeling the entrepreneurial spirit of Mercedes, her character in Hustlers. "This is for all yall sorry asses. Including me," she tweeted, with a link to the merch. Palmer keeps it simple with t-shirts and sweatshirts available in classic options of white and black, plastered with a photo of her look of confusion when she heard the name "Dick Cheney." "SORRY TO THIS MAN" is written in caps because, well, we're really sorry. The merch, however funny, comes at a price. The T-shirts are $30, and the sweatshirts are $55.
It's a small price to pay to immortalize a phrase that can get you out of an unwanted relationship or an awkward situation. Last night, Palmer's Hustlers co-star Cardi B used the meme as a response to 6ix9ine's testimony that she is a Nine Trey Blood. Atlantic has denied 6ix9ine's claim, but it was Cardi's use of the phrase that most effectively shut the claims down.
Kristin Corry is a staff writer at VICE.