Ashton Kutcher Criticized for Sending Tweet Calling Paterno Firing "Poor Taste"
Ashton Kutcher is going to be much more careful with Twitter.
After Wednesday's announcement that legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was fired amid the university's recent sex abuse scandal, the Two and a Half Men star tweeted: "How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste," to more than 8 million followers.
A little background: The scandal stems from charges that former defensive coach Jerry Sandusky — once Paterno's heir apparent -- sexually abused children. Sandusky is charged with 40 counts of sexual misconduct with eight boys, some as young as 10.
Joe Paterno fired as sex abuse scandal rocks Penn State football program
Kutcher's tweet immediately set off a firestorm of angry comments from fans and celebrities alike.
Eric Stangel of The Late Show with David Letterman tweeted, "RE: @APlusk 's tweet about Paterno, hey @CharlieSheen- you might get your old job back ..." Another anti-Kutcher tweet from @MikeRylander: "It's cool, @aplusk. Even though you're a mover-and-shaker of Internet media, it makes sense you missed the NCAA coach molests boys story."
Kutcher's tweet was deleted shortly thereafter. He followed up by renouncing his previously ill-informed statement by writing, "Heard Joe was fired, fully recant previous tweet! Didn't have full story. #admitwhenYoumakemistakes." Then, "This is an insane story, I just heard paterno was fired, getting the rest of the story now... Wow."
Check out the rest of today's news
Kutcher — who's been the subject of rampant speculation about marital woes with wife Demi Moore — apologized, as two mea culpa tweets said: "As an advocate in the fight against child sexual exploitation, I could not be more remorseful for all involved in the Penn St. case." And: "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."
Check out photos of Ashton Kutcher
Kutcher took to his blog Thursday to clarify further how he was tweeting from ignorance, sounding totally clueless about one of week's top developing national news stories, the football team's record (8-1) but not Paterno's age (84). "Last night after returning home from work I walked by the television and simply saw a headline that Joe Paterno had been fired. Having no more information than that, I assumed that he had been fired due to poor performance as an aging coach," he wrote. "I assumed that the university had let him go due to football related issues. With that assumption (how dare I assume) I posted a tweet defending his career."
And it sounds like, since he's not filtering himself, he's going to have someone else filter his thoughts for him. "While I will continue to express myself through @Aplusk I'm going to turn the management of the feed over to my team at Katalyst Media to ensure the quality of its content," he wrote. "My sincere apologies to anyone who I have offended. It was a mistake that I don't think will happen again."