Secondhand embarrassment and Fergie's National Anthem

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Healthcheck: Embarassment by-proxy: Brian Taff reports on Action News at 4 p.m., February 19, 2018 (WPVI)

Parts of the brain are hard-wired to light up when other mess up
A new book sheds light on what makes us feel so embarrassed for others' foolish action.

And the timing couldn't be better.

Grammy-winning singer Fergie is being criticized coast-to-coast for her sultry, night-clubby rendition of the national anthem during Sunday's NBA All-Star game.

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Fergie's NBA All-Star Game national anthem confuses, amuses. Matt O'Donnell reports during Action News Mornings on February 19, 2018.

Players and VIPs alike hid smiles or cringing looks.

Broadcast commentator Charles Barkley said it was so sexy, he felt like he needed a cigarette when it was over.

The new book 'Cringeworthy' says two pain centers in our brains actually light up when others mess up.

It suggests we feel a kind of social pain when we witness embarrassing acts, especially when we can imagine ourselves in those shoes.

On Monday afternoon, Fergie released a statement, saying she "wanted to try something special for the NBA."

She says she's an artistic risk-taker, but "clearly this rendition clearly didn't strike the intended tone."

Fergie says, "I love this country, and honestly tried my best."
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