We’ve seen it time and again: O.J. Simpson, Michael Vick, Ben Rothlisberger, Tiger Woods and now… Joe Paterno.
Scandals are nothing new to sports, but when someone with a golden reputation like Joe Pa is involved, it’s hard for fans to get past. College football fans and Penn State students sat in disbelief when it was announced that Paterno would be fired for his alleged involvement with a child abuse case concerning former Penn State defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky.
The world erupted with emotions and students went to the streets in protest against the decision made to fire the beloved coach. Everyone from Michele Bachmann to the Devil himself had something to say about the incident. But no reaction compared to Ashton Kutcher’s. It wasn’t necessarily the content of his comments, but his lack of utter awareness, that made his reaction so memorable.
Taking to Twitter, he wrote:
“How do you fire Joe Pa? #insult #noclass as a Hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste.”
Because Kutcher has recently started a program with wife Demi Moore to prevent sex trafficking and child abuse, it was a confusing tweet, to say the least. But Kutcher wasn’t actually defending Paterno. In fact, he didn’t know about the abuse allegations or the coach’s involvement. He thought the university was just firing the coach because of old age or bad performance. Kutcher was only reacting to what he assumed had happened and it wasn’t until a few minutes later — when Kutcher actually picked up a newspaper — that the tweet was fixed.
Kutcher was embarrassed about the incident, apologized and quickly set himself straight. He then announced that he would no longer write his own tweets and would turn the Twitter responsibility over to his PR team.
It all brings up the question: Should celebs even tweet?
Passionate Kutcher followers seem to think so, as does Gizmodo, an online guide to all things gadget-related. Their blog went as far to call Kutcher a “cowardly quitter.” Others, like Forbes, think it’s probably better for celebrities to think before speaking.
As a journalism student, I am incapable of understanding how someone could be so unaware of what’s going on, and worse, share their lack of understanding with 8 million other people. However, as a celebrity fan, I have a really hard time with tweets that look like they’ve come straight from a press release.
Should celebrities be on Twitter? Do you believe PR people should run all accounts, ensuring accuracy? Or is it more important for genuine conversation between celebs and fans?