The reason most publicists, managers and agents cringe when clients decide they should be on Twitter and Facebook is because, normally a star’s image and likeness, even their words are planned out by people who know better than they do, what they should say in interviews, and during media/press junkets promoting TV shows, radio shows and films. However, once a celebrity goes the way of social media, it’s a very scary situation for their handlers. Ashton Kutcher proved in the last hours what a disaster it can be for a star, who may not be informed about a serious issue, and to comment on it without knowing the facts.
Sure, Ashton’s busy with personal issues, performing on the hit CBS sitcom “Two and A Half Men” and also busy with films as well. However, when he decided to tweet about the disgraced Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, stating that he did not deserve to be fired, an avalanche of pressure came down on Ashton, who with his wife Demi Moore also run a foundation which tries to end the use of children in the illegal sex slavery and trafficking industry.
Late on Wednesday, Ashton tweeted, “How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste,” to his 8 million Twitter followers. Immediately Kutcher’s followers responded angrily against him, and insulted his morality and ethics and some even his common sense. The blasting did not let up, and Kutcher’s defense of the 84-year-old coaching legend, who is being accused of possibly covering up the sexual abuse of several victims by former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who is being accused by at least 9 men, who are alleging sexual abuse by Sandusky.
The 33-year-old actor soon realized his mistake, quickly backpedaled and admitted his ignorance. “Heard Joe was fired, fully recant previous tweet!” he wrote. “Didn’t have full story.”
He later deleted that message, too, and added this one: “As an advocate in the fight against child sexual exploitation, I could not be more remorseful for all involved in the Penn St. case.” Ashton went on to state, “As of immediately I will stop tweeting until I find a way to properly manage this feed. I feel awful about this error. Won’t happen again.” Warner Bros. executives who are in charge of “Two And a Half Men” production are huddled in a meeting as this is being written, as they are concerned about the effect this situation will have on their show, which has been embroiled in scandal for over a year now, starting when Charlie Sheen was forced out due to alleged substance abuse problems, which WB’s contended at the time created production problems.
On September 11, Kutcher tweeted, “the greatest day of the year,” forgetting about the attacks on 9/11/2001, and was referring to the first day of the football season starting.
Paterno’s firing came hours after he announced that he would retire at the end of the season. Penn State found it unacceptable and fired him last evening.
Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photograph is Courtesy: Warner Bros. Studios
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