Ashton Kutcher’s Twitter account, which was arguably becoming more famous than Kutcher himself, is set to become a lot less popular. Kutcher will hand over responsibility for the account to his production company, Katalyst Media, in the wake of a furor over a tweet in response to Penn State’s firing of coach Joe Paterno, who is in the midst of a sexual abuse scandal. Kutcher, apparently unaware of the scandal, saw the headline and railed against Penn State’s decision. The tweet read,
How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste.
Paterno, a legend as a head coach for decades, was highly revered by college football fans across the nation before the scandal erupted, which revealed that Paterno failed to notify authorities of allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor against assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Kutcher, unaware of the scandal, caught heat from millions who were very aware of the scandal. To his credit, Kutcher, upon learning of the allegations, quickly recanted, apologizing for his remarks.
If anything, it’s a cautionary tale that teaches a valuable lesson – don’t just read headlines, read the article. It’s hardly fair to lump Kutcher in with the truly outrageous Charlie Sheens of the Twitterverse, but it shows that when you keep as high of a profile as most celebrities are almost forced to do, one misstep can undo years of reputation building.
For now, Katalyst Media will act as a filter for Kutcher’s tweets, which should still come from Kutcher himself. But, the beloved spontaneity is gone, and the knowledge that a filter exists at all is sure to turn many off. Ironic that that much-desired lack of a filter has led to the Twitter downfall of one of the most open celebrities in the world today.